2016 Holiday Outlook

It’s the most digital time of the year

Smart shoppers

Consumers will spend more this holiday season according to our 2016 Holiday Outlook. And they’re looking forward to an enjoyable shopping experience. In their quest for the perfect gift for themselves and others, they will shop at both physical and digital retailers.

Where and when consumers will shop? What drives their purchasing decisions? How retailers are preparing for the season?

Check out videos, trends and download the report for a view into the consumer’s mindset and likely shopping behaviors and retailers expectations and strategies.



Hear what consumers are saying


Millennial Family


Digital, Mobile, Social


Gen Z





Explore key findings

1. Bigger holiday budgets   

Consumers are primed to spend more

2. Chill for the holidays

The emerging influence of hipsters

3. Shopping is social for Gen Z

90% relate to influencers on a personal level

4. Millennial parents think of others first

Have smartphone, will shop

5. Holiday time . . . and the buying is easy

Frictionless checkout #1 priority

6. Thumbs a tapping in a mobile wonderland

Digital, mobile shopping up almost 25% each

7. I want it . . . now

A range of last mile options

8. There’s always a deal . . . somewhere

Retailers offer more deals more often

9. Brands matter

Local, independent brands matter more than ever

10. Season of caring

Consumers and retailers alike illustrate humanity in action


Pet owners—almost half of all households nationwide—will buy the likes of everlasting treat balls and cat dancers for their favorite animal companions. They will spend an average of $62 this year on Fido or Tiger or both. Of our most generous animal lovers, millennials will outspend everyone else at $81 each, followed closely by Gen X at $79, families with children at $71, and singles at $70.

Some 33% of consumers told us they will buy handmade gifts this holiday season. In fact, almost 75% of shoppers will turn to local retailers. From hipsters to higher-income households to socially and environmentally conscious consumers, niche retailers are stepping in to respond to the call for new and different holiday gifts. Some are on their way to becoming powerhouse brands in their own right.

While cars may not show up on the shopping lists of most consumers, December consistently charts automaker rebates and spikes in auto purchases. They typically offer rebates in December, particularly for luxury vehicles. Another anticipated driver of high demand could be record-low interest rates. In an environment of record-high auto prices, low-interest auto loans could be a motivating factor.


It’s the most digital time of the year

As we gear up for the holidays, shoppers have their wallets out and wish lists in-hand, poised to embark on a quest for the perfect gifts for their loved ones.


A demographic that actually enjoys shopping in-store? Meet Gen Z

They enjoy going to stores with friends and family. Tangible gifts are preferred over experiences. Social media is used more by this demo than any other one. And they’re 86 million strong.



Holiday Season Hiring Shows Companies Need Human Touch 

The robots are nowhere near ready to take over crucial logistics and customer-service functions. 



Contact us

Steven J. Barr
US Retail and Consumer Leader
Tel: +1 (415) 498 5190

Allison Stone
US Retail and Consumer
Tel: +1 (646) 471 8766

Krystin Weseman
Senior Analyst, US Retail and Consumer
Tel: +1 (312) 298 4238

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