Holiday spending will increase by 20% and flourish online, survey says
Deloitte's 33rd annual Holiday Survey has found that 57 percent of total holiday spend is expected to be online, compared to 36 percent in stores. This marks a 10 percent drop for brick-and-mortar stores in the last four years.
Average total spending predictions clocked in at $525, a 20 percent increase from last year's figure of $430.
The survey of consumer spending intentions and trends also found that online retailers and mass merchant stores hold spots as the top two shopping destinations, with an annually growing lead. They are followed by department stores and off-price retailers.
In addition, the survey found that the number of shoppers buying on their phones has increased from 59 percent to 67 percent, but most online shoppers still plan to make purchases via their computers.
Two thirds of those polled said they research gifts online before buying.
Despite the numbers, survey experts say this is not the time for brands to underestimate the importance of physical interaction with shoppers.
"Although the rate of online sales growth is accelerating faster than that of physical stores, retailers should put resources behind both to be relevant," said Rod Sides vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and U.S. retail and distribution leader, in a release. "Online convenience is a way of life for most people, but what a person buys is still influenced by what happens in the store."
Sides continued, "shoppers also made it clear that promotions matter this time of year: More than 80 percent of consumers note their shopping will be influenced by promotions. The deals are always attractive, but there are a lot of other points of inspiration that can drive the sale."
The survey said most shoppers will purchase an average of 16 gifts this year, and just over half of respondents indicated that they would buy themselves a gift while shopping for others. Clothing ranked as the number two treat-yourself item, just after food and liquor.
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