Survey: Consumers online more, but spending less

London A survey released Tuesday by PriceGrabber.co.uk, an Experian company, found that the recession has caused consumers to spend less overall, but spend more time shopping online.

The 2010 Consumer Spending Survey also found that consumers are planning to reduce their big-ticket purchases for white goods, electronics and furnishings.

Key findings of the survey included: 53% of consumers revealed they have been spending more time comparing prices online compared to before the recession (December 2007), 50% said they have been spending more time shopping online compared with before the recession, and 28% said they have been spending more time online searching for coupons, as compared to before the recession.

Regarding overall spending habits, 51% said they are spending less overall than at the start of the recession, while 8% are spending more than at the start of the recession, and 41% are spending the same amount overall when compared with the start of the recession.

Respondents said they plan to reduce big-ticket spending for the home in the next six months. More than half (52%) said they are not planning to make big-ticket purchases (white goods, electronics and furnishings) in the next six months because they are focused on saving, and 20% plan to purchase a big-ticket electronic item in the next six months, as compared with the 43% of consumers who have already purchased a big-ticket electronic item in 2010.

Fourteen percent of consumers said they plan to make a big-ticket home-improvement purchase in the next six months, as compared with the 19% who have made a purchase in 2010.

"Survey results reveal that the recession has caused consumers to shift their shopping patterns online," said Justin Sedgmond, business director at PriceGrabber.co.uk. "While consumers are planning to reduce their big ticket spending in the next six months for white goods, electronics and furnishings, we expect them to continue to spend time online searching for coupons and comparing prices for small ticket purchases."

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