Consumers to shop carefully this holiday season: PeriscopeIQ

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Consumers are planning to spend carefully and shop around this holiday season, according to a study by market research company PeriscopeIQ.

More than six in 10 consumers (61%) plan to spend the same amount of money as last year this holiday shopping season, while only 8% plan to buy gifts for more people. Nearly one-quarter (24%) have cut down their gift lists this year. The company surveyed 1,140 consumers last month.

Shoppers will use a variety of online tools to plan their expenditures this year. Seventy percent of shoppers will conduct research before going to a store. Almost a quarter of consumers said they always or often pre-shop online before going to an outlet, said Pawan Singh, CEO and chief science officer of PeriscopeIQ.

One-third (33%) of consumers will look at consumer reviews online, and 12% will gather product information from social media.

Retailers should accommodate those consumers with more cross-channel promotions to reach those shoppers, according to the study. For example, Singh said many retailers are using social media to push coupons and other offers.

“There are a lot of channels, and some of them are not very expensive - Twitter for example,” said Singh. “There are a lot of twists that retailers need to be in front of in that space.”

Retailers also have to fend off a wider range of competitors than before, according to the survey. With all the online pre-shopping expected, retailers now have to worry about other local shops, but also online retailers, noted Singh. Even small stores that don't sell online need to be aware of what their competitors are doing on the Internet.

“They can't only think of competitors over a 25-mile radius of their stores,” said Singh. “Even if you're not online you're still competing with online stores.”

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