Want expensive gifts this year? Make friends in New York, California

By on November 20, 2013

During October, we conducted our 2013 Holiday Survey of approximately 3,000 shoppers pulled from our core U.S. audience. We asked questions about online shopping, holiday shopping budgets, most wanted products, shopping on mobile devices and the act of self-gifting during the holidays. Here’s some of our results broken down by state:

California tops the list when it comes to increasing holiday shopping budgets

Question: Do you plan on spending more, less or the same on 2013 holiday shopping when compared to your 2012 budget?

People living in heavily populated states like California, New York and Florida are the most likely to spend more on the holidays than what they spent during 2012. Alternatively, people living in Great Lakes states like Indiana, Illinois and Michigan as well as southern states like Georgia and the Carolinas are the most likely to spend less on the holidays this year. People living in other states will likely spend the same amount of money on gifts as 2012.

However, flat spending is not surprising given that disposable incomes in 2013 are only up marginally over 2012. Bloomberg pointed out recently that California, New York and Florida are well known for having a large number of affluent residents who likely have more disposable income due to surging stock markets.

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New Yorkers have the largest holiday shopping budgets already

Question: How much do you plan on spending during the holidays this year?

New York has the largest percentage of people who are planning on spending more than $1,000 on their holiday shopping budgets this year, followed by Virginia and Texas. Areas of the country that plan on spending around $500 to $1,000 this year include Great Lakes states like Minnesota, Ohio and Illinois as well as Western region states like Arizona and Colorado.

People spending between $250 to $500 live mostly in Northwest states like Oregon, Montana and Idaho as well as southern states such as Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. The state with the heaviest concentration of residents planning on spending less than $250 on the holidays this year was Missouri. Of course, this distribution of shopping budgets closely mirrors the cost of living within these states.

Wisconsin citizens vastly prefer holiday shopping online over driving to stores

Question: Will you be shopping online-only, in-store only or a combination of online and in-store this year?

Not surprisingly, people living in states with chilly winter temperatures are more likely to shop online-only this year. States that topped the list included Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Colorado.

The majority of other states showed a fairly even distribution between online and offline shopping. Interestingly, almost all the respondents in Florida and California said they would definitely shop both online and in retail stores. This is an indication that the milder climates aren’t turning away in-store shoppers.

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Maryland residents love shopping on smartphones and tablets

Question: When shopping online, do you prefer mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, or a traditional computer?

As expected, mobile use for online shopping has been growing steadily over the last few years. As noted in this Accenture study, more consumers than ever are using tablets and smartphones to purchase goods as well as comparison shop. Specifically, the number of respondents that use mobile devices to shop has increased from 29 percent to 36 percent in the last year.

Not limited to a specific region of the country, the states with the highest percentage of residents who prefer mobile over desktop include Maryland, Minnesota and Ohio. Alternatively, people living in states like Arizona, Missouri and Oregon prefer to use a regular computer when making holiday purchases. Between all 50 states, there was an approximate 40 / 60 split when it came to mobile / desktop use.

Oregon is filled with people who love self-gifting

Question: Will you be shopping for yourself during Black Friday and the holidays?

If you aren’t familiar, self-gifting is the act of purchasing products for yourself during big holiday sales. The National Retail Federation estimates that people will spend about $130 on themselves this year on average. That’s a slight decrease year-over-year, but still a significant chunk of a holiday budget for most people.

Also not limited to a specific region of the country, people living in Oregon, Indiana and California are the most likely to shop for themselves. On the opposite side of the spectrum, residents of Colorado, Tennessee and Missouri have little interest in shopping for themselves this year.

Texans can’t wait to get their hands on new tablets this year

Question: What products are you most interested in purchasing this year?

ipad-giftHere are product categories matched up to the states with the highest percentage of interested residents:

  • Tablets: Texas, California, Minnesota
  • Video Game Hardware: Oregon, Tennessee, Washington
  • Kids’ Toys: Virginia, Minnesota, New Jersey
  • Housewares: Georgia, Illinois, Indiana
  • General Electronics: Missouri, Ohio, New York
  • Clothing & Shoes: Connecticut, Florida and Pennsylvania

Between all the respondents from every state, the top 10 most popular gift items within all the product categories included:

  1. Apple iPad Air tablet
  2. Leapfrog LeapPad learning tablet
  3. Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone
  4. Xbox One / PS4 gaming consoles
  5. Apple MacBook Pro laptop
  6. Despicable Me 2 “Minion Dave” doll
  7. Apple iPad Mini with Retina display
  8. Keurig brewing systems
  9. Nike sneakers
  10. Amazon Kindle Fire HDX tablet
You can find our expert picks on the top holiday gifts to buy this year here. If you have any questions about our 2013 holiday survey, please don’t hesitate to contact us at mattk AT bensbargains.net.

About Mike Flacy

By day, I'm the Editor-in-Chief for The CheckOut in addition to being the content manager for Steve's Digicams and High-Def Digest. During my free time, I love to write about pop culture, home theater, digital photography, social media, mobile technology and cool gadgets!

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