A majority (51%) of Americans will be shopping online this year because of the bad economy, according to SOASTA’s 2012 Holiday and the Economy survey of 2,346 American adults aged 18 and older, conducted online on its behalf by Harris Interactive,

This sentiment rang strongest with those 18-44 (55%), especially with women in that age group (64% for women 18-34; 57% for women 34-44).  Economic pessimism is so pronounced that only 2% of Americans don’t believe the economy is bad.

“The results of our Holiday and the Economy Survey have shown that more Americans will be relying on retailers’ online mobile and web presence for holiday shopping due to the bad economy than not,” said Tom Lounibos, SOASTA CEO.

Out of the Americans who plan on shopping online because of the bad economy, 71% of them believe there are better and/or more deals online than in the stores.  A majority of Americans (53%) say they plan on shopping online because they don’t want to spend money on gas driving from store to store.

Some holiday shoppers said it’s easier to track spending so they stay within budget (32%) while others liked using cash-back websites like Ebates (20%) so they could save more money.

Others admitted that online shopping was best because they work so many hours they don’t have time to shop in stores (20%) while 31% of Americans say they will shop online because they believe the bad economy will “bring out the crazy” in people at physical stores and they want to avoid them.

Most Americans (68%) said mobile apps will make the holidays better this year for reasons such as:

  • Finding deals for Cyber Monday and Black Friday easier – 52%
  • Better able to make plans while they’re on the go – 47%
  • Avoiding long check-out lines by using apps specifically designed for that purpose – 46%
  • Easier to take and share pictures of gifts they would like for themselves – 33%
  • Instantly share cute or embarrassing holiday videos or pictures with distant relatives and friends through social media – 28%

 Most Americans will rely on mobile and web not print and TV

A majority of Americans (61%) admitted they will rely on mobile apps and websites over traditional newspapers and TV this year, with holiday shopping being the number one choice (36%).  Americans listed other instances where they will rely more on online alternatives vs. traditional newspapers and TV outlets, including:

  • 34% Breaking News
  • 23% Presidential Election Results
  • 16% Local Election Results
  • 11% Halloween Activities
  • 11% Thanksgiving Weekend Travel Information
  • 11% New Year’s Eve events
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