November 5, 2009, 12:00 AM

Consumers will spend 18% less online in Q4 than a year ago, study predicts

Shoppers will spend an average of $281 online in Q4 this year, an 18% decrease compared to the same period last year, and a 24% increase compared to Q3, a new report finds.

Shoppers will spend an average of $281 the fourth quarter this year, a 18% decrease compared to the same period last year and a 24% increase compared to Q3, a new report finds.

The report, conducted by research and consulting firm Javelin Strategy & Research and commissioned by eBillme, a payments service that allows consumers to pay with funds in the bank, polled 1,200 consumers to predict online spending for the quarter.

“This quarter’s Index shows some visible signs of improvement in the online retail sector,” says Beth Robertson, director of payments research for Javelin. “We haven’t seen a projected increase in anticipated spending since this time last year. And it comes just in time for retailers during the most important quarter for capturing sales and customers.”

The report also polled shoppers about holiday shopping and found:

  • 11% plan to do most of their holiday shopping on Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • 48% of consumers plan to avoid Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when many shoppers head to bricks-and-mortar stores. Many shoppers plan to shop online instead.
  • 27% plan to spend more on online on holiday gifts than they did last year.
  • 40% of shoppers plan to use their credit cards less often in favor of non-credit payment options in Q4.

Additionally, the report notes that online spending among Hispanic consumers continues to climb.

“This quarter’s uptick in spending is evidence of improving consumer optimism as we head into the holiday shopping season,” says Marwan Forzley, president and CEO of eBillme. “While consumers are planning to loosen their financial constraints this quarter, they are still holding on to recession spending habits. This includes changing the way they shop and pay to better control debt. We have seen this significant shift in attitude towards credit carry over from previous quarters, and it will definitely impact consumer spending decisions this holiday season.”

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