Survey: Most consumers will post-holiday shop online

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Heavy rates of pre-holiday online shopping are set to continue once the holidays have passed.

According to a new consumer survey from on-demand fulfillment platformWare2Go, a UPS subsidiary, 31% of respondents intend to shop online within a few days after the holidays. Another 34% plan to shop online within the month of January, while 23% will wait two to three months before shopping online again.

The survey also examined consumer plans for shopping during the holiday season, with 83% of respondents saying they plan to do more online shopping for holiday gifts in 2020 compared with 2019. Overall, this means 70% of respondents will be shopping online exclusively or combination — both online and in-person — shopping.
Examining consumer attitudes toward online returns, the survey finds that six in 10 respondents say an e-commerce retailer’s return policy is very important to their decision to make a purchase, while another 34% say it’s somewhat important. Only 6% are indifferent.
Just over half (51%) of respondents have purchased a gift for someone and then returned it before gifting it. While reasons varied, responses revealed that many of these returns are preventable: 

•    35% said that the item was not as pictured or described;
•    33% said that it took too long to arrive; 
•    31% reported that the fit wasn’t right;
•    31% ordered multiple options to compare.
A plurality of respondents, 47%, favor in-store returns, but 35% still prefer to return through the mail. For the most part, respondents said they act swiftly to return gifts they don’t plan to keep, with 24% returning in less than 1 week, 33% returning in one to two weeks, and 18% taking 2 weeks to one month to return.
Conducted in October 2020 by Propeller Insights on behalf of Ware2Go, the survey polled more than 1,000 U.S. adult consumers.