Rakuten Shopping Secrets survey results

According to the Rakuten Shopping Secrets survey, conducted with consumers over seven markets, Americans will spend almost 14 hours shopping for friends and loved ones this year. This breaks down to 3.94 trips per person, spending an average of 3.5 hours per trip. Children, partners and moms were found to take the most dedication when shopping at 90 minutes, 77 minutes and 70 minutes respectively.

The survey revealed the most difficult person to buy gifts for is a spouse or partner (20%), followed by mom (12%), dad (10%) and finally children (9%). However, some Americans find the shopping ordeal pretty easy with 20% saying they find “no one” difficult to buy for. These may have been the same respondents that admitted they spend around half an hour treating themselves to a little retail therapy.

Unwanted Gifts
When receiving unwanted gifts, respondents admitted to putting their gift somewhere and forgetting about it (44%). Depending on the item, some have re-gifted a present to someone else (35%), others (27%) will donate it to charity and the most enterprising among us will sell it off (14%).

The Perfect Gift
When it comes to spouses or partners who are viewed as the most difficult person to buy for, the answer may be quite simple – 43% would prefer a kiss or hugs However, no one really wants to show up empty-handed; the survey revealed that 29% of respondents want fashion accessories, 27% would like jewelry, 26% food and a holiday tipple and 13% would love a blank check to pay the bills.

Keeping Stress Levels in Check
Almost half of Americans (45%) surveyed find the holiday season stressful. And when compared to their counterparts in Europe and Asia they were found to be third most stressed after Spain (57%) and the UK (51%). Main stress factors include, having to spend a lot of money (51%), not knowing what to buy as a gift (46%) and being afraid of the recipient not liking the gift (31%).

“The holiday season is a time to spend with family and loved ones. Yet, we all spend too much time worrying whether we have bought the perfect gifts. A couple of tips to help reduce stress levels during the holiday season – start shopping early to avoid the rush and take the pain out of mall shopping by seeing which items you can find online,” said George Chang, Senior Vice President, Rakuten.com.

Real-Life vs. Web
More than half of Americans surveyed dread going out to the shopping mall (55%) – more than their European and Asian counterparts. A high percentage doesn’t like the crowds (87%), with two thirds of American shoppers surveyed (61%) preferring to shop online for the holidays. This trend mirrors Rakuten’s E-Commerce Index earlier this year, which showed that tablet usage for shopping has grown by 41.9% in the last year, surpassing smartphones as the most used mobile device for shopping.