Do The Math; Such A Deal
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Do The Math; Such A Deal

November 7, 2014

Source: MediaPost

During the 2013 holiday shopping season, the U.S. population spent more than $42 billion online. Without deal websites, they would have spent quite a bit more, says a new report. The report shows that American shoppers who used deal or offer websites saved more than $4 billion in November and December of 2013. This year, that number is poised to grow. According to the estimates, holiday savings in 2014 will approach or surpass the $5 billion mark.

While nearly 80% of shoppers indicated that deal and offer sites helped them save money, 72% also said these sites helped them purchase more items or better products.

According to a RetailMeNot commissioned survey about holiday-shopping behavior, conducted by Kelton Research, there is a clear connection between deal and offer websites and shopper satisfaction, helping to predict how the numbers will look in 2014. The whitepaper, written by Dr. Jason Abrevaya, Ph.D., and the RetailMeNot staff, shows that apparel (37%) and electronics (35.3%) were clearly the two most popular categories on which respondent spent the most during the 2013 holiday season.

From percentage-based offers and dollars-off discounts to “buy one, get one free” promotions, holiday savings vary widely, the average percentage savings experienced by respondents for these categories through deal websites were 22.4% for electronics, 26.6% for apparel, 21.3% for beauty/hygiene and 18.3% for home/garden.

2013 Holiday-Shopping Savings From Deal Websites On Major Retail Categories(Respondents Who Reported Doing At Least Some Holiday Shopping In A Given Category)

Category

Average Savings

Electronics

22.4%

Apparel

26.6%

Beauty/hygiene

21.3%

Home/garden

18.3%

Source: RetailMeNot, October 2014

Doing the “deal website arithmetic…”

For each survey respondent, the amount of online holiday shopping was estimated by multiplying the total amount spent by the percentage purchased online and the frequency of deal-website usage to provide an estimate of the percentage of online purchases that were made through deal websites. Overall, at least 30% of online purchases were made through deal websites.

Percentage Of Online Holiday Shopping Through Deal Websites

Overall

Female

Male

Age 18–34

Age 35–49

Age 50+

Children under 18 at home

No children under 18 at home

30.50%

31.70%

29.10%

37.70%

31.20%

22.80%

40.90%

25.40%

Source: RetailMeNot, October 2014

However, says the report, there’s a distinct difference between the subsample with children under 18 at home (40.9% of online purchases done through deal websites) and the subsample of those without children under 18 at home (25.4%). Similar differences are seen between 18- to 34-year-olds (37.7%) and those over 50 (22.8%).

In looking at the general population, including Americans who had zero savings, the average American saved $16.68 per person by using deal and offer websites during the 2013 holiday season. Individuals with children under 18 at home saved nearly three times as much ($30.96) as individuals with no children under 18 at home ($11.54). Individuals aged 18 to 34 saved nearly twice as much ($21.91) as individuals over 50 ($10.76).

Additionally, for those who responded that they used deal and offer websites for every online purchase, they saved $65 on average. Respondents who used deal and offer websites for “every or most” online purchases saved $44 on average. In aggregate, savings reports submitted throughout the year at RetailMeNot show the average user saves nearly $20 per transaction.

Extrapolating to the entire U.S. population, based on the Census Bureau’s estimated population of 242.5 million of those 18 years and older in 2013, our estimate for the overall savings of the U.S. population from deal websites in the 2013 holiday season was $4.046 billion.

Estimated Average Savings From Deal Websites

Overall

Female

Male

Age 18–34

Age 35–49

Age 50+

Children under18 at home

No children under 18 at home

$16.68

$17.39

$15.93

$21.91

$19.06

$10.76

$30.96

$11.54

Source: RetailMeNot, October 2014

Looking ahead, using the study findings of deal and offer website holiday savings in 2013, the report estimates that holiday savings will approach or surpass $5 billion in 2014. As more consumers move toward online channels and more retailers embrace competitive promotional strategies, holiday shopping is about to feel even better.

While more than $4 billion of savings is a clear benefit to the population, says the report, the findings show that deal websites can also save people time, provide information about additional retailers/products and make the shopping experience more enjoyable. The survey asked respondents some specific questions about how they used their deal-website savings and how these online destinations impacted their overall shopping experience.

Finding the right deal may take some additional searching, but the survey shows that many shoppers were able to trim the nearly 26 hours they spend on holiday shopping by using deal and offer websites. The average per capita time savings was 32.82 minutes among deal-website users. These time savings represent approximately 2% of the average time that consumers devote to holiday shopping.

Average Time Saved From Using Deal Websites(Minutes)

Overall

Female

Male

Age 18–34

Age 35–49

Age 50+

Children under18 at home

No children under 18 at home

32.82

30.59

35.52

32.5

34.84

31.35

41.48

27.82

Source: RetailMeNot, October 2014

The average per capita time savings was significantly higher (41.48 minutes) for the group of individuals with children under 18 at home. While the average time spent holiday shopping was also significantly higher (36.3 hours) for this group, the time savings still represents 2% of the average shopping time for this group.

Overall, 50.9% of respondents said that the deal-website savings allowed them to buy more gifts for others, and 30.2% said that deal-website savings allowed them to buy more gifts for themselves. Also, 42.7% of respondents said that savings from deal websites allowed them to put some money aside.

These shoppers aren’t simply staying home to avoid lines, says the report; they’re recognizing that e-commerce delivers easy savings opportunities via online deal and offer websites and apps during the holiday shopping season. While in-store foot traffic may be growing at a slower pace, the online savings highways are packed. In November and December of 2013, the top 10 deal and offer websites had more than 100 million unique visitors, an uptick of 32% versus the surrounding four months (September, October, January, February)

Consumer confidence is rising, and shoppers are preparing to spend the same or more on their holiday shopping. With deal websites just a click away, the online landscape is rife with opportunity to make the holiday season not only about giving and celebrating but also about saving, concludes the report.

The Kelton survey was conducted between August 6 and August 11, 2014, among 1,007 individuals ages 18 and over, using an email invitation and an online survey. In this study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample, notes the report.

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