D.C.-area shoppers would rather buy online than sit in traffic

The poll finds 47 percent of those surveyed have stepped up their online shopping. (AP)

WASHINGTON – Nearly half of Washington area residents say they’re doing more online shopping at home because they want to avoid the region’s traffic headaches, according to a new WTOP Beltway Poll.

The poll finds that 47 percent of those surveyed have stepped up their online shopping because they want to “avoid D.C. metro area traffic, congestion and crowds.”

Virginia residents are the most likely to do more web shopping, with 47 percent agreeing they would rather avoid traffic. That’s followed by 44 percent of Maryland residents and 35 percent for those who live in D.C., according to the poll, which was conducted by Heart+Mind Strategies.

Overall, 28 percent of those surveyed say they’ll do 60 percent or more of their shopping online. Inversely, 28 percent say they will not do any shopping online.

How much are they going to spend on holiday gifts?

The poll finds across the D.C. metro area, people will spend an average of $926.

Virginia residents will spend the most at $1,005, followed by Maryland residents at $959 and D.C. residents at $529.

Twelve percent say that is more than they spent last year. Thirty four percent say they are spending less. A little more than half say they will spend about the same as last year.

Editor’s note: The D.C. metro phone survey was conducted among 643 adults age 18 or older and between Dec. 5 and Dec. 8, 2011. This included representative samples of 241 in Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford), 300 in Maryland (Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Frederick, Montgomery, Prince Georges) and 102 in the District of Columbia. The margin of error for a sample of this size is 3.8 percent with 95 percent confidence.

Heart+Mind Strategies, a non-partisan market research consultancy based in Reston, Va., conducted the polls.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)

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