Shopping Technology

eBates Holiday Shopping Survey: Shoppers Prefer Online Purchasing

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I used to enjoy Black Friday.  The thrill of the hunt.  The promise of the deal.  In the early days of The Recessionista, I got up at the crack of dawn to shop Black Friday doorbusters and specials with the enthusiasm of a concert goer.  Now, I’d rather do my shopping online.  No pushing and shoving, no bad behavior.  No waiting in line in the cold.  It’s all about the Internet now for Black Friday.  While some people still enjoy the in-store experience, a new survey shows that most of us would rather shop from home.  

Ebates  an online  shopping portal that offers cash back to shoppers, did a Holiday Shopping survey that show that an overwhelming majority of Americans prefer online shopping over shopping in physical stores.  Why? Well here are the reasons to shop from the comfort of home according to the survey respondents.

  • Not having to deal with crowds – 59%
  • Not having to wait in line – 56%
  • Online shopping is less stressful – 54%
  • Shopping from the comfort of their own home – 53%
  • Not having to find parking – 49%
  • Availability of better deals online – 48%

More than a third (34%) of Americans admitted shopping for holiday gifts online while at work. 16% of Americans admit they spend between 1-2 hours per week shopping for holiday gifts at work, while another 14% spend between 3-4 hours per week. A bold 4% spend between 5-7 hours per week shopping for gifts at work.

How Much to Spend?

Gift budgets vary across households each holiday season, and this year will see a sweet spot of between $50-$100 per person, with 40 percent of Americans choosing to spend at this level. Another third of the country (29%) will spend less than $50 while 1 in 5 (21%) shoppers say they will spend between $100-$250 per person on gifts. A generous 7% of the country says they will spend more than $250 per person on holiday presents, and 2% admitted they will put out more than $500 per person.

If you’re participating in a “Secret Santa” gift-giving effort this year and deciding how much to spend, American shoppers have an opinion. Approximately one third of the country (37%) believes the appropriate price to spend on a “Secret Santa” gift is between $10-$25. One fifth of the nation (22%) considers the right range to be between $25-$50.

Savvy Shoppers Stretch Holiday Budgets & Plan in Advance

Ebates also found out how shoppers will stretch those budgets to go as far as possible this holiday season. According to the survey, half (49%) of shoppers say they intentionally research the best deals months in advance to save money for the holidays. An additional 4 in 10 people say they only buy gifts that include a special holiday sale price (37%) or use cash back shopping websites to receive cash back on all online purchases (37%). One third of Americans say they send in every rebate they receive (33%) as well as use their mobile shopping apps to compare prices while in stores (26%).

One third of holiday shoppers use online cash-back shopping sites, like Ebates, to help them in a variety of ways—from having peace of mind about getting the best deal (35%) to buying a few extra gifts they couldn’t afford otherwise (31%) and saving for other gifts they must purchase throughout the year (30%). Consumers also credit online cash-back shopping sites like Ebates for helping them buy any gifts they wouldn’t afford otherwise (23%) and giving them a big cash-back check in 2015 (23%).

“We understand the American shopper and how important it is to make holiday budgets count so you can get to everybody on your gift list,” said Kevin H. Johnson, CEO of “That’s why Ebates offers deals and cash back on everything you are looking to buy—whether it’s a big ticket item or stocking stuffer for your loved ones.”

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Usamp on behalf of from October 20-29, 2014 among 1,059 adults ages 18 and older and 500 children ages 13-16. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.