According to global business consultancy Accenture, over forty per cent of Americans and Britons aim to spend less on the web in the upcoming holiday season compared with 2000.

In a holiday shopping study published today (Monday), Accenture reports a common intention of consumers on both sides of the Atlantic to peg their holiday budgets to last year’s spend and – especially Stateside – to shop around for the best deals.

In a sampling of over 2,000 consumers, 41.4% said they expected to spend less online this year than last, compared with 25.2% who intended to up their 2000 outlay.

Comments Accenture managing partner of North American retail practice Angie Selden: “There's a perception of less choice and less availability because of the fall-out of so many sites after the holiday last year.”

There is also a dichotomy of mood across the herring pond. Although US holiday season budgets are higher than those in the UK, almost 35 per cent of the US sample reported they aim to spend either “slightly less” or “much less” in total than in 2000, whereas only 16.6 per cent of Brits reported a similar intention.

Selden believes the difference is attributable to attitudes towards discounts: “The US is almost twice as influenced by discounts as the other countries we surveyed. Economists have been telling consumers for several months to expect retailers to be struggling this season. Consumers have been conditioned to expect better deals.”

Accenture also studied consumer intentions in France and Germany, reporting accelerating enthusiasm for e-commerce in both nations. One third of the Franco-German sample said they would spend more online this year, against 27 per cent intending to spend less.

News source: Financial Times