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E-Discounts Too Enticing to Pass Up for 2014 Holiday Shoppers

Consumers increasingly depend on their laptops, phones and tablets to reveal the best shopping deals online, and the recent holiday shopping bonanza was no different. A new infographic released by Alliance Data Retail Services offers insight into exactly how holiday shoppers took advantage of technology to snag the best deals.

Alliance Data found a 12-percent increase in the number of shoppers using rewards, discount offers and coupons to save money on their shopping lists. Unsurprisingly, the days on which consumers enjoyed the highest credit sales were Black Friday, the Saturday after Black Friday, and the Saturday before Christmas; Dec. 13 and Dec. 6 – both Saturdays – also offered the steepest credit sales.

But the study found some more inspiring results as to the impact of technology on cost-cutting. During the 2014 season, a total of 58 percent of shoppers used email discount offers, while 26 percent used mobile coupons – a nearly 5-percent spike in the instance from the 2013 holiday shopping season.

Consumers also gave a boost to the popularity of Cyber Monday, as one-in-five shoppers thought the shopping day offered the best holiday deals – greater than Black Friday and any weekday in December.

And, with consumers focusing on whether online retailers offered the lowest prices and free shipping on their orders, the study also found that in-store shopping dropped 11 percent compared with the year prior.

This doesn’t mean brick-and-mortar stores should throw out their holiday decorations just yet. Alliance Data reports that while 58 percent of shoppers used emailed coupons, a comparable 54 percent used direct mail discount offers. And, despite the slump in in-store shopping reported by consumers, the instance of shopping via desktop or mobile device remained about the same in 2014 as it did in 2013.

Plus, bad news for the shoppers who felt they received the best deals on Cyber Monday: the data suggests that shopping earlier would have saved consumers’ money. Research found that Amazon actually raised their prices on the day, and that realistically, there is no discernable pattern for holiday shopping discounts to give shoppers a sure-thing deal.

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