Shoppers told us they plan to spend 10% more this holiday season; an average of $1,121 each. And consumers with annual household incomes less than $50,000 will increase their percentage spending levels even more than consumers overall.
Hipsters—upwardly mobile, college-educated millennials in enclaves such as Austin, Brooklyn, Oakland, and Portland—will spend $500 more this season than consumers overall. And they will spend a hefty third of their holiday budget on themselves.
At 86 million strong, Gen Z’s influence is indisputable in the proliferation of interactive digital content, especially mobile video. These social media whiz kids are tactile; they like stuff. And shopping in stores with friends and family. Reviews from actual product users appeal to them; ads don’t.
Millennial parents—often juggling full-time jobs while caring for young children—are almost twice as likely as other consumers to use a mobile device to pay for purchases. Far more optimistic about the economy, they start shopping earlier than consumers overall—and enjoy it more (75% versus 61%).
Used to frictionless checkout online, customers want a similar fast and easy checkout experience in-store. They also want Wi-Fi access to check product availability and prices. And knowledgeable sales associates to help find products and explain features.
Anticipating an almost 25% increase in annual digital sales, retailers are boosting their investment in digital channels. Meanwhile, mobile shopping also is up almost 25% over last year. From scouting products and monitoring deals to paying for products and tracking packages, shoppers are going mobile.
Some 60% of retailers will provide both free shipping and free returns this holiday season—a must-have for consumers. Retailers are offering a variety of online and in-store ordering and delivery (or pick-up) options to provide the optimum mix of convenience, price, speed, and variety.
As global borders shrink and the world’s population becomes more mobile, consumers shop year-round, lured by a flurry of deals and discounts. In fact, 64% of consumers will begin holiday shopping before the start of Black Friday week. And 29% will have completed most of it by then.
Brands matter to 80% of our survey respondents—whether established household names, local businesses, independent retailers, or new entrants. Almost 75% of consumers plan to shop locally while 56% will seek independent retailers.
Shoppers will give an average of $244 to their favorite causes: health and social services, community development, animal welfare, disaster relief. And 75% of retailers will make charitable contributions. Consumers told us they favor retailers who are committed to corporate responsibility.