Most L2 staff are shopping online this holiday season to save time and money, although a few  prefer the in-store experience. One planned to do 90% of her shopping online, mostly on Amazon, supplemented with Zappos and drugstore.com. Online shopping ruled because it offers a wide range of options, even more so than shopping mecca New York. For a few procrastinators, buying gifts online was not an option due to anxiety about products arriving on time.

Self-gifting was common; almost all felt inclined to treat themselves when buying for others. Opinions were split on whether online or in-store shopping leads to more self-gifts. On one hand, tactile experiences and the display of goods made in-store items harder to resist, and deliberate online shoppers found it easier to stay on track. Impromptu online shopping, however, was a recipe for unplanned purchases.

Mabel McLean says her online shopping is often prompted by discounts she receives by email. “A lack of premeditated intent coupled with incentive makes self-gifting more likely,” she said.

Jimmy McMillan said he tends to buy more for himself online because it is easier to click “Buy Now” than to decide on a purchase in-store. “Something about online shopping allows you to remove yourself from the idea of self-gifting,” he said.

Many of the L2 staff shopped on their phones. One has his personal shopper at Saint Laurent text him pictures of potential gifts. Elena Bohenick uses her mobile phone for on-the-go quick purchases on Amazon, small things she can add to gifts. Laura Selfridge-Black bought a few gifts with the Groupon mobile app. Akpanuluo Etteh only buys concert or movie tickets on his phone; it’s convenient because he can buy tickets to events he receives texts about without delay.

Overall, L2 staff liked the idea of shopping in-store during the holidays, but found online shopping more fitting for a busy schedule.

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