Social Media Emerges As Major Source of Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas

      Social Media Emerges As Major Source of Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2012

NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Social media has become so influential
in the past year to consumers as they shop that, according to a new survey, it
is as relied upon as much as both word-of-mouth and store advertising to
provide holiday gift ideas and inspiration among all ages. The survey,
released today by ConsumerSearch.com, part of The About Group, examines how
people plan to shop this holiday season, including what elements of social
media inspire consumers.

Sixty-five percent of respondents said they rely on word-of-mouth, or
brainstorm with friends on gifts for loved ones, while others (64 percent)
look to stores and manufacturers to provide inspiration through
advertisements, emails and store web sites. Similarly, 62 percent of
respondents said they use social media sources, including user reviews, online
wish lists, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.

ConsumerSearch.com, an award-winning web site that helps consumers make
informed purchasing decisions, conducted the survey of members of Research
Now's Consumer Panel Oct. 8-12, 2012. More than 1,035 adults across the
country who have shopped for gifts or intend to shop for gifts this holiday
were polled. Highlights of the survey include:

Reading the Reviews: Consulted by 41 percent of adults in the U.S. who go
online, reviews are by far one of the most popular social sources of ideas and
inspiration for gifts.

Online v. In-Store: As the holiday shopping season nears, the largest group of
respondents (37 percent) said they tend to research and shop both online and
offline equally. Twenty-four percent said both researching and shopping online
is more typical for them, edging out the 17 percent who prefer to research and
shop in stores.

Spending Habits and Cost: Sixty percent of respondents say they'll spend about
the same amount on gifts this year, compared to 2011. Yet, the remaining 40
percent were evenly divided between those who plan to spend more than they did
last year, and those who plan to spend less. Consumers plan to spend nearly
$500, on average, for holiday gifts. In addition, 40 percent anticipate
spending $500 or more and 12 percent will spend $1,000 or more.

"Through our analysis of shoppers' habits and reviews throughout the years,
we've seen an uptick in how people are using social media to get information
on products and services from their peers and retailers," said Carey Rossi,
editor-in-chief of ConsumerSearch.com. "This survey shows us just how much
social media is influencing shoppers and changing their habits. Retailers have
begun using social media more to reach shoppers with deals and information and
we can expect this trend become even more popular over the next few years."

For a copy of the full ConsumerSearch.com study, please contact Meredith
Worsham, mworsham@about.com.

Follow ConsumerSearch on Facebook and Twitter.

About The About Group

The About Group comprises the Web sites About.com, ConsumerSearch.com and
CalorieCount.com. About.com is a valuable resource for content that helps
users solve the large and small needs of everyday life. ConsumerSearch.com
analyzes expert and user-generated consumer product reviews and recommends the
best products to purchase based on the findings. CalorieCount.com is an online
resource that helps users solve the everyday challenges of losing weight and
living a healthy lifestyle. The About Group is part of Ask.com, which is owned
and operated by IAC (NASDAQ: IACI).

SOURCE The About Group

Website: http://www.consumersearch.com
Contact: Bridget Stachowski, +1-212-204-1984, bstachowski@about.com; or
Meredith Worsham, +1-212-204-2617, mworsham@about.com
 
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