We defined Net savvy shoppers as anyone who said they’ll do either most of their holiday shopping online or almost all their shopping online. In fact, about 70 percent of these consumers say the Internet is their No. 1 way to shop year-round, and an equal number say it's their top way to make holiday purchases.
Compare that to the 44 percent of the public whom we call “traditionalists” who don’t seem to do much clicking at all for their gifts around holiday season or anytime of the year for that matter.
But the differences between the Net savvy shopper and the traditionalists goes beyond just the Internet. When Net savvy shoppers leave the house to make a purchase, they don’t leave technology far behind. The survey found that 41 percent use mobile devices in stores to look for better prices, compared with 24 percent of the general public and just 10 percent for traditional buyers.
“This group of Net shoppers really are showing us the wave of the future,” said Jay Campbell, a vice president of Hart Research Associates, which conducts the CNBC survey along with Bill McInturff. “As generations that are computer savvy get older, it seems likely that they will continue their online shopping habits, and the youngest generations will do more and more shopping with their smart phones. Brick-and-mortar stores will have to step up their game to get people in the door.”