Here’s the Real Reason Why Shoppers Are Heading Online for Holiday Shopping This Year

The FDRA’s 2016 National Holiday Shoe Sales Survey confirmed that a significant number of shoppers will head online this holiday season in search of shoes. But the reasons behind their decision may surprise some.

Roughly 22 percent of the 4,000-plus people who participated in the FDRA’s survey indicated that they intend to shop for footwear on the web; however, contrary to what some experts have said, most shoppers aren’t taking the digital route simply to avoid long lines and traffic at their local malls.

The survey found that the almighty dollar will be driving force behind people’s decision to shop online this season. Specifically, the FDRA said 33 percent of survey respondents indicated that the main reason they were shopping online was for better prices. The ability to compare prices (selected by 32 percent) and a larger merchandise selection (indicated by 24 percent of participants) are also major drivers behind the choice to shop online. Only 9 percent said they were specifically shopping online to stay away from crowded stores.

When it comes to just how much — or how little — they’re hoping to spend, more than half of shoppers, or 51 percent, said they are looking to spend less than $100 for their online footwear purchase. An additional 38 percent are planning to spend upward of $250. Only 4 percent of respondents said they were planning to exceed $500 this year.

The good news for retailers is that fewer shoppers this time around are feeling the need to trim their budgets. About 36 percent of respondents said they were going to spend more on shoes this holiday season than in 2015. Still, the budget-conscious crowd is not far behind: 33 percent said they were planning to spend less this holiday season, while 30 percent said they were going to spend the same as they did last year.

As for retailers who will nab the largest share of consumer wallets, 22 percent of respondents said they would be purchasing on a “brick-and-click” retailers website, such as Nordstrom, Foot Locker Inc. or Target Corp. Branded websites are also picking up steam, with 16 percent of respondents indicating that they plan to purchase directly from a shoe brand’s website.

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