19 Dec, 2017, 12:44 ET
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In the second annual survey into consumer trends during the holiday, Charlotte research firm Voccii reports a more than 10% increase in shoppers who are spending less than in 2016.
This year, 28% of consumers said they would spend less – up from 17% who said they would spend less in 2016 – an 11% swing. People who said they would spend the same as last year stayed steady at 30%, year on year.
Shoppers felt comfortable using their credit card slightly more often this year. Consumers who said they would use a mix of cash and credit card were 29% this year versus 22% last year. About 40% of shoppers this year said they will pay cash only, as compared with 49% last year.
The late Thanksgiving may have impacted shopping schedules: Two out of five respondents (43%) will finish their shopping by Dec. 18, and another 32% will finish before Christmas Eve. This year, a very few respondents finished their holiday shopping by the end of November versus the 17% who finished before or around December 1 last year.
What are shoppers planning to buy? "Hot" toys and tech gifts aren't actually hot at all. The majority of consumers do not plan to get them
But for trendy shoppers who made up 10% of respondents, the Fingerlings Interactive Baby Monkey and Hatchimals CollEGGtibles might be on their list, along with the Amazon Echo.
Consumers are planning to be "homebodies" during the 2017 season. Almost 6 in 10 plan to stay home. However, for the 35% who plan to travel, the roads are likely to be crowded. Almost 90% of holiday travelers plan to drive and travel destinations ranging anywhere from less than 50 miles to more than 500.
Family isn't the only holiday destination. One third of respondents have definite or tentative plans to travel for fun. Destinations vary from local/regional trips to exotic locales in Belize and Mexico.
Finally, consumers described their 'funniest' Christmas memories. Problems with the Christmas trees produced the most hilarity, followed by food disasters and then pet antics during the holiday. One respondent had a most provoking story with a mysterious line: "The cat in the pie incident."
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