Nearly half of Americans plan to do their holiday shopping online this year

A study conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Affirm found half of respondents will have already started shopping for the holidays by October. (Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash)

Half of Americans are already online shopping for the holidays because they’re bored at home, according to new research.

The study asked 2,000 Americans how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their holiday plans and shopping habits.

As their days at home drag along, 47% of respondents shared they’re taking their extra time to get a head start on their holiday shopping.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Affirm, the survey found half of respondents will have already started shopping for the holidays by October.

In fact, 15% of those polled had already started their holiday shopping in August.

And as respondents are thinking about their holiday spending, they’re also having to think about their holiday travel plans.

Seventeen percent of respondents still plan on traveling this holiday season, and of these respondents, 21% will spend more on their travel than they did last year.

However, 41% of those surveyed said they were planning to travel for the holidays this year but have canceled their plans.

Three-quarters of these respondents also shared that they’re planning to use the money they would have spent traveling this year to purchase more gifts for their loved ones.

Regardless of their travel plans, nearly half (48%) of those surveyed said they will do their holiday shopping online this year.

Respondents also shared that as they’re shopping earlier and buying more gifts, 27% plan on buying more apparel and accessories this year than they did last year.

A quarter of respondents also said they plan on purchasing more electronics for the holidays this year.

And about seven in 10 respondents said they’re more likely to buy something on sale now, rather than waiting for the traditional Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.

If an item that catches their eye isn’t on sale, 38% of those polled said they’d still make the purchase by utilizing a pay-over-time solution.

All of these purchases do add up, however, and 48% of those surveyed are worried about going over budget and into debt this holiday season.

“As shoppers begin to purchase the things that they want, or need, to make their holiday special, we must arm them with payment solutions that enable them to spend and budget responsibly,” said Silvija Martincevic, Chief Commercial Officer at Affirm.

“At Affirm, we do this by showing shoppers exactly what they owe at checkout, then allowing them to choose the payment schedule that works best for them.”

Nearly half of those surveyed shared they are interested in making the most of their budgets by using a pay-over-time solution, but they’re worried about possible hidden fees.

For 43% of those polled, the biggest blow to their budgets is encountering hidden fees once they get their bill.

Despite how they plan to pay for their holiday gifts, eight in 10 respondents are hoping to have everything paid off before Christmas day.

“It is our hope that by offering consumers a more transparent and flexible alternative to credit cards, and honoring our commitment to never charge late or hidden fees, more people will be able to buy gifts for their loved ones this holiday season,” said Martincevic.

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