Most holiday shoppers prefer buying gifts online - not in stores

Only 36% of people expect to shop on Black Friday

More than half of consumers are shopping online for their holiday gifts, according to a new report.

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According to the Holiday Outlook 2019 report released by PwC, 54 percent of respondents plan to do their holiday shopping online, compared to 46 percent who plan to go in-store.

That’s almost the opposite of the trends in 2015 when 58 percent said they planned to shop in-store and 42 percent said they planned to shop online.

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The report also found that younger generations who are planning to shop online expect to use their phones almost as much as their personal computers to make purchases.

Meanwhile, older generations who are planning to shop online plan to use their personal computers over their smartphones.

However, millennials (as well as metro residents and Amazon Prime members, according to the report) are also looking to have more of an experience when they shop.

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More than half of the millennials overall who responded said they believe shopping is “an event to be experienced," which includes eating out, while only 44 percent of all consumers agreed with that sentiment.

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PwC also found that 60 percent of young millennials (aged 24 to 27) said they would “go out of my way for a superior shopping experience,” whereas only 40 percent of all consumers agreed.

Even though Black Friday has traditionally been viewed as one of the biggest days of holiday shopping, PwC found that only 36 percent of respondents said they would go shopping on Black Friday itself. Back in 2015, that number was 59 percent.

In fact, only 19 percent of people said they planned to finish their holiday shopping during the week of Black Friday, while 49 percent said they would finish their shopping after that week.

According to PwC, Black Friday has become less important because of the increase in online shopping, other deals that Amazon runs on Prime Day and the fact that retailers start offering Black Friday deals much earlier in the month.

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Similarly, a study from Deloitte found that 53 percent of people will take advantage of Cyber Monday deals, with only 44 percent shopping Black Friday discounts.

PwC even found that while 24 percent of people don’t plan to shop at all on Thanksgiving Day, 32 percent said they would shop online, 17 percent said they would shop in-store and 22 percent said they would do both.

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Overall, consumers are expected to spend an average of $1,284 on entertainment, gifts and travel, according to the report, which is an increase of 2.7 percent from last year.