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Consumers plan to finish shopping online

Date posted:  11/13/15 12:00:00 AM Many consumers plan to finish their shopping online.

It's not just cold weather and winter storms that are keeping consumers indoors this holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation's latest holiday survey, which was conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, nearly half of all holiday shoppers said they plan to finish their shopping online.

The 49.9 percent who admitted this mark the highest percent in the survey's 11-year history. The report from the NRF said that through Dec. 9, 32 million holiday shoppers had not even started crossing items off their shopping lists.

"It comes as no surprise that Americans are eager to shop online in the coming weeks as busy schedules and a shift in the calendar have made the convenience offered by retailers' mobile apps and websites even more attractive this year," said Matthew Shay, the president and CEO of the NRF.

Meanwhile, the NRF survey said that more than 45 percent of respondents plan to conclude their shopping at their favorite department store because of big in-store savings, while 37.4 percent will head to discount stores.

"Recognizing the importance of providing stellar customer experiences for their shoppers, retailers will use every opportunity to promote their products through all their channels at very competitive prices, including exclusive shipping offers and in-store events," Shay added.

Roughly a quarter of respondents will shop at electronics stores and clothing and accessory stores. Grocery stores (15 percent) and outlet stores (13.7 percent) also made the list.

What have people already bought?

Consumers aren't waiting to buy fashionable clothes or hot toys, according to the NRF. Nearly 50 percent of respondents have already bought clothes and almost 40 percent have already bought toys.

Electronics purchases (26.6 percent), home décor or home-related items (18.4 percent), jewelry (17.5 percent) and personal care or beauty items (19.6 percent) were also hot early buys.

The survey indicated that among those who have yet to finish their shopping, 10.1 percent will wait until Christmas Eve.

"Last-minute shoppers don't have quite the breathing room they did last year when there were four full weekends, but we shouldn't underestimate procrastinators," said Pam Goodfellow, consumer insights director for Prosper. "Last-minute shoppers are savvy bargain hunters who know just how to get everything they need to finish their gift lists."  

Gift cards have been the most requested holiday item, with 34.4 percent of respondents stating that they have already bought gift cards.

Mobile shopping

With online and mobile shopping eating into the retail market, it's of some surprise to learn that most mobile shoppers have no security system installed on their mobile devices.

According to a recent survey from Tripwire, a global provider of risk-based security and compliance management solutions, nearly two-thirds of U.S. consumers (59 percent) do not have security software installed on their mobile devices.

"Two forces are colliding to threaten both personal financial information and corporate data on mobile devices," said Dwayne Melancon, Tripwire's chief technology officer. "First, a surprising number of consumers are associating insecure mobile devices with their bank accounts or credit cards, which can make them easier targets for fraud and cybercrime. Second, many of those same consumers are storing sensitive corporate data on the same insecure mobile devices."

The survey revealed that 32 percent of U.S. respondents have their credit cards or bank account information linked to their mobile devices. For those with corporate data on their mobile devices, only 56 percent had security software installed.

"Both of these risks could be significantly reduced by running up-to-date security software on the mobile devices," Melancon added. "Unfortunately, this survey indicates that consumers are not installing this software and corporations are not enforcing security configuration policies on mobile devices, leaving consumers and businesses at risk. I suspect it will take a serious security incident to drive significant changes in these areas."