This past week, Acumen Marketing Research conducted a one-question poll on LinkedIn to determine members’ feelings towards holiday shopping. The brief online survey raised the following question:

“Which of the following best describes how you feel about shopping during the holiday season?”

  • Excited
  • Pleased
  • Neutral
  • Stressed
  • Overwhelmed

Unfortunately, shopping during this holiday season seems to be spreading more angst than joy! A full quarter of all respondents (25%) reported being stressed and another six percent are already overwhelmed! On the other hand, just one in seven are excited about shopping, and an equal proportion are merely pleased. Overall responses obtained from 360 participants polled between December 1st and 7th are shown below.

Holiday Poll Chart

There were some interesting and significant differences by gender, as seen below. Women were more than twice as likely than men to feel overwhelmed (10% vs. 4%) and were significantly more likely to fall on the negative side of the spectrum, as well (38% vs. 28%). Meanwhile, men were more apt to classify their feelings as neutral, 46% to 33%.

Holiday Poll

But the poll’s results were not all gloom and doom. In fact, some of the open-ended comments we received even shed some light on how consumers could potentially counteract their shopping anxiety. One respondent offered his method of battling the stress by simply employing a little advanced planning and time management skills:

“…I like having a plan before ever leaving and setting aside way more than enough time to get through it. It takes longer to be extra leisurely, but I prefer that over the stress of trying to do too much at once. We all have stress we can’t avoid, why add to it unnecessarily?”

And although we prefer to remain unbiased as researchers, we must admit we were quite pleased to learn our one-question poll itself had brightened the spirits of at least one female respondent:

“Interesting – I was feeling stressed about the holidays until you asked. I forgot how much fun it is to pick out just the right gift!”

So please do try to enjoy yourself while shopping this holiday season. And if you find yourself feeling a bit stressed, remember Acumen’s one-question holiday poll — and realize that you are by no means alone!

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