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Minnesota ranks among states with fewest "last-minute" holiday shoppers

Looking for that last-minute holiday gift?
Looking for that last-minute holiday gift? 03:02

This year, analysts expect holiday shopping to smash previous records, with more than $942 billion in sales predicted. Retailers start advertising sales as early as September to entice shoppers to buy gifts. Still, new research suggests that many shoppers across the country procrastinate until Santa is practically loading his sleigh.

With an estimated 30% of annual retail sales coming during the holiday season, some people take advantage of Black Friday deals and promotions before the rush to reduce shopping stress. However, many Americans still find themselves hitting stores much closer to the big day to buy gifts for their loved ones.

A new study has revealed which states are the most guilty of putting off their holiday shopping until the last minute. CasinoGuardian put together data that combines results from their poll conducted amongst 2,000 Americans - and search volume data from Google Trends - to reveal which of the 50 states are most organized when shopping for Christmas gifts.

States With the Least-Organized Christmas Shoppers

The survey responses and search volume results were collated to assign a 'last-minute score' to each state, with Alaska holding the top position with a score of 6.8/10.

This result means The Last Frontier has the highest proportion of people who start shopping for Christmas gifts in the last week before the big day - from Monday, December 19th this year - and has the highest searches around related shopping terms over the same period.

Of the 10% of surveyed Americans who said they started their holiday shopping the last week before Christmas, 3.5% lived in Alaska.

The terms analyzed via Google Trends were "gifts for her," "gifts for him," "next day delivery," and "secret Santa," with the study looking at searches made between December 20th - 25th last year - of which Alaska reported the highest search volume overall with a score of 10/10.

These two stats combined result in a 'last-minute score' of 6.8/10, making Alaska the least-organized state in the ranking.

Arkansas takes second place as the least-organized state with a last-minute score of 6.5/10, followed by Montana and Wyoming with a score of 6.3/10 each.

Rounding out the top ten states with the most last-minute shopping are Wyoming (6.3/10), South Dakota (6.0/10), Idaho (5.5/10), Maine (5.5/10), West Virginia (5.5/10), Mississippi (4.5/10), and Rhode Island (4.0/10).

North Dakota Most Organized State for Holiday Shopping

On the other end of the scale, North Dakota is the most organized, with a last-minute score of 0.5/10 - primarily because just 1% of respondents who put off their shopping lived in The Garden State. In addition, Google Trends reported a search volume of 0 in the run-up to the big day.

Regarding the most Type A Christmas shoppers, New Mexico (0.8/10) and Pennsylvania (1.3/10) follow closely behind North Dakota as the most organized. These are probably the same people who send their Christmas cards out by December 1st.

The rest of the top ten states that have already made their list and checked it twice include Ohio (1.3/10), Delaware (1.3/10), Nebraska (1.5/10), Missouri (1.5/10), Minnesota (1.8/10), Massachusetts (1.8/10), and Texas (2.0/10).

The East Coast has the most balanced people when it comes to holiday shopping. New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Connecticut are all in the middle of the rankings. They are taking advantage of Black Friday sales but also finding themselves with some last-minute shopping to do.

Why Procrastinate Putting Presents Under The Tree?

As Christmas approaches, retailers start advertising when shoppers need to place their purchases for them to arrive by Christmas. But with "next day delivery" and expedited shipping options, many people wait until the last minute. In the US, search terms for "next day delivery" peak on December 23rd, showing that Alaska isn't the only state guilty of last-minute gift shopping.

Across all of the search data, the term that the majority of states Google in the last week before Christmas is 'secret Santa' - indicating that many seek surprise gift inspiration, likely just before a corporate party or last-minute exchange amongst friends. The frantic pace of the holiday season can sometimes make shopping at the eleventh hour a necessity.

"I have good intentions every year to start my Christmas shopping early around Black Friday," said Casandra Karpiak from Media Decision. "I start out strong, but often my energy fades soon after because of holiday parties and other festive engagements. I'm often that last-minute shopper heading to the store during extended shopping hours to avoid the crowds trying to find stocking stuffers that I kept putting off earlier in the month."

Another reason many people wait until the last minute to buy their Christmas presents is simply to try to get a better deal. Max Marvelous, a money coach, notes, "You may think the people who wait until the last minute to buy Christmas gifts are procrastinators. Although that may be true, many companies are doing their best to hit revenue figures before Christmas because they know after the 25th, sales will decline quickly. You may be able to find a better deal shopping last minute, and it never hurts to ask for a discount too."

John Dealbreuin, a personal finance writer, agrees. "I do last-minute shopping because most of the great deals are available on the weekend before Christmas, especially for the electronic items on my wish list," he says.

A Flicker of Hope for Shopping Stragglers

In the age of Internet shopping, shoppers have many advantages to selecting gifts and still receiving purchases in time. Amazon and Target help set our expectations that you can place an order for a hot holiday toy or game and anticipate a package delivery the next day. And when you forget about a holiday party or schedule a meet-up with your friend unexpectedly, you need the help of quick deliveries.

Speaking on the results, a spokesperson at CasinoGuardian said: "Every year, people will find themselves vowing to start their gift shopping earlier than they did the year before, in order to reduce stress and take advantage of limited discounts and deals.

"However - for whatever reason - many still struggle to prioritize buying presents before the last minute. This data shows that if that's you this year, you're not alone - and luckily there are plenty of next-day delivery offerings still available for you to benefit from this year."

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

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