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Will holiday shoppers go online?

online holiday shopper
Most consumers plan to shop online for the holidays.

A new survey uncovers consumer plans for e-commerce this holiday season.

Nearly 80% of respondents are planning to do all or most of their holiday shopping online, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. shoppers from e-commerce platform CommerceHub. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said they are planning to shop online for Black Friday and 61% will do so on Cyber Monday.

More than half (52%) of respondents had already purchased holiday gifts back on Amazon Prime Day, and 82% said they would take advantage of a second Prime Day in the fall. (The survey was conducted before Amazon announced its Prime Big Deal Days event bering held in October.)

Despite the popularity of online holiday shopping, many respondents remain concerned about shipping delays. More than half (54%) of respondents say they worry that the strain on delivery services like UPS, USPS and FedEx will impact gift delivery.

A similar percentage (52%) said delivery delays would influence their decision to buy from a retailer again. The top three factors that influence which retailer respondents will choose are product availability (30%), fast shipping time (23%), and product assortment (21%).

Economic factors play a role

Because of continuing economic uncertainty, 50% of respondents said they plan on spending less on gifts this year than previous years, and 70% will seek discounts/flexible payment options. Seven in 10 respondents also believe that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will have better deals than now, so they plan to shop during those two major holiday sales events.

[Read more: Here’s what will drive Black Friday purchases]

And while 66% of respondents are leaning towards purchasing essential and cost-effective gifts, the top three product categories for surveyed holiday shoppers this year are apparel/accessories (66%), electronics/video games (54%) and pajamas/loungewear (42%).

“Looking ahead, these findings underscore how fierce the battle for consumers’ dollars is going to be this holiday shopping season and emphasize that an online presence is paramount,” CommerceHub said in commentary on survey results. “In order to win and capture consumers’ dollars online, retailers need to remember that flexibility is key. Offering competitive prices, product variety/assortment, discounts, and flexible pay options will go a long way with shoppers. It’s also important that retailers aim to deliver products on time, and if there are delays, be transparent and communicate with consumers.”

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