Posted November 15, 2012 3:42 pm by with 0 comments

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In a press release titled “Consumers Show a Little More Cheer this Holiday Season,” The Conference Board by Nielsen reveals that “Nearly 10 percent of consumers said they plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, up from 7 percent last year.”

More spending! That’s great news.

The PeriscopeIQ Retail Intelligence Survey agrees. . . sort of. Their press release has this subtitle: “Consumers Indicate a Lackluster Holiday Season vs. 2011,” and it says “only 14 percent say they will increase holiday spending from 2011 levels.”

Only 14%! Boo!

Wait a minute, Periscope is in agreement with Nielsen, even predicting a slightly higher level of increase spenders. Yet Periscope’s “only” makes the stat sound negative where Nielsen is rejoicing over a shopping bag half full.

Which way do you see it? Is a 10 to 14% boost over last year something to cheer about or cry about?

Given that folks on the East Coast are still digging out from under the effects of Hurricane Sandy, any dollars thrown into the pot should be welcome and unexpected. 40% of those surveyed said current gas pricing will stop them from driving far just to get a bargain, that’s if they can even get gas for their cars.

With Black Friday only a week away, 66% said they couldn’t be bothered with 38% saying they will definitely or probably shop in physical stores on that day.

Online and Mobile

Since the ability to move freely about the shopping centers has been impaired, even more people are turning to online options for holiday shopping. 40% admitted they did their shopping online while at work spending up to 20 minutes a day surfing the web for the perfect gift.

The number of people using online to “pre-shop” for gifts went up from 27% to 41% but few people are using their smartphones in stores. And only a tiny amount (5%) ever use a mobile wallet.

There’s always lots of talk about how influential online reviews are but PeriscopeIQ says many more people rely on print ads for product information while shopping.

From the sound of all of this, Black Friday might not be the doorbuster retailers are hoping for but that could be good news for eCommerce stores with good prices and low shipping.

How are you feeling about next week? A great start to the season or a struggle to get by?