However, considering that these tax holidays are currently designed to give local businesses an edge over online competitors, they they're failing at their one task while draining local tax revenue in the process. A survey by Connexity's Bizrate Insights found that half of online shoppers pay sales tax, but those who do don't consider it an important factor in choosing a retailer.
Roughly 29% thought sales tax was an important factor in total costs, but that's down from 37% in 2011. By contrast, 19% said it didn't matter either because they had to buy from one particular retailer or because all retailers they were considering were charging sales tax anyway. A full 51% said sales tax wasn't important to their decision in the least.
"As the largest online retailers, such as Amazon, expand their distribution networks such that more and more online purchases become eligible for sales tax - in addition to evolving sales tax laws - most consumers are accepting the reality and considering additional factors as they choose where to shop," says Hayley Silver, vice president of Bizrate Insights. "This slow move away from the race to the bottom price for the majority of online buyers should be welcome news for retailers who invest in the customer experience and exclusive products."
Meanwhile, of the folks who didn't pay sales tax on their online purchases, 60% said it wouldn't have been a factor anyway. While about 48% of buyers say sales tax is generally something they ignore when making a purchase, 19% said they considered not making a purchase as a result. Just 17% wouldn't have shopped at a retailer who paid sales tax, while just 5% would have shopped locally instead of online