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Press Release

Holiday Shopping Season Already in Full Swing

Posted: Sep 14th, 2015

Rubicon Project “Consumer Pulse” Survey Finds One-Third of Consumers Have Already Started Their Holiday Shopping

Los Angeles – September 15, 2015 – While we’re still in the tail end of summer, consumers have signaled that holiday shopping is already well underway, according to the new Consumer Pulse survey from Rubicon Project (NYSE: RUBI), a global technology company powering the only independent advertising solution to automate the entire digital advertising ecosystem. The annual survey examined the holiday shopping habits among consumers ages 18 and above in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, and includes data on online and mobile shopping trends and how consumers are spending their money this season.

“This year, we are seeing a clear shift in when, where, and how consumers are spending their holiday money,” commented Dallas Lawrence, Senior Vice President for Rubicon Project. “Consumers have taken control of the holiday shopping season, starting earlier, and signaling a clear desire to shop online and on mobile devices. For the first time, US consumers are telling us that an online-only outlet, Amazon, will be their number one shopping destination in the US and eBay will be one of the top three shopping destinations in the UK. Brands looking to win big this holiday season should take note and align their engagement campaigns to the new reality of the in-control and on-demand consumer who is just as comfortable buying online or on their mobile devices as they are in store.”

A Grinch-less Holiday Season

The holiday shopping season has officially begun, with nearly one-third of all shoppers already in the throes of their shopping. An even larger number of parents, 42 percent, have begun their shopping.

“This year consumer confidence appears on the rise as a significant majority of shoppers plan to spend the same or more on holiday purchases with most budgets exceeding $1,000,” added Lawrence.

78 percent of those surveyed across the three regions plan to spend the same or more money this year than they did last year – an average of $1,011. U.S. parents are leading the generosity push this year with 48 percent willing to open their wallets a bit wider this year than last.

Online for the Holidays

According to the survey, nearly three in four holiday shoppers across the three regions will make purchases online. Specifically in the U.S. more than one-third of shoppers anticipate conducting the majority of their shopping online, with 96% of U.S. parents planning to shop online in some capacity this holiday season. Those consumers in the U.S. who plan to do the majority of their holiday shopping online plan to spend 20 percent more than consumers who plan to do the majority of their shopping in-store.

Perhaps the most notable trend this season is that according to U.S. consumers, Amazon.com is their top shopping destination followed by traditional go-to stores, Walmart and Target. The move online this year is not in the U.S. alone as eBay will be a top three shopping destination in the U.K.

Mobile is certainly not being forgotten this holiday season, with general mobile consumer use around the world increasing at a fevered pace. This year 25 percent of holiday shoppers in the U.S. will turn to their smartphones to make holiday purchases.

“Whether consumers are shopping from their tablet or clicking through an ad on their smartphone, more consumers than ever are researching, price comparing, and shopping on-the-go, with nearly one in four holiday shoppers in the U.S. planning to shop on their smartphones this year.” said Joe Prusz, Head of Mobile for Rubicon Project. “For brands that embrace the consumer shift to mobile, it will surely be a very merry mobile year.”

Tech Under the Tree

While 63 percent of all consumers surveyed prefer to purchase lots of smaller gifts rather than one large item, nearly half of those surveyed (49 percent) still plan to purchase at least one “big ticket” item this year, with technology purchases ranking high on the big ticket wish list.

According to the survey, slightly more than 50 percent of consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada are planning to purchase tech or mobile devices this holiday season. In total, shoppers plan to spend more than $300 on tech-related items this holiday.

For further information on this study or insight into additional data please visit rubiconproject.com/consumerpulse.