According to the National Retail Federation, holiday sales are expected to surpass $465 billion this year, up 2.8% from last year.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay says, “While businesses remain concerned over the viability of the economic recovery, there is no doubt that the retail industry is in a better position this year to handle consumer uncertainty than it was in 2008 and 2009.”
Though the general outlook on the economy is more favorable than last year, the state of the economy still plays a role in consumers’ decision-making process. According to SteelHouse, 82% of shoppers, including high income earners, are changing their shopping behavior this year due to the economy.
Though 62% are planning to spend less than last year, 50% will do more comparison shopping before committing to a purchase. Over 30% will not purchase an item without free shipping or a discount. See the results of the study below:
All is not lost, though. According to the National Retail Federation, the average person plans to do 36% of their holiday shopping online. You can see the trend shifting towards internet shopping as brick-and-mortar stores are advertising the same Black Friday deals online. Additionally, consumers are tired of waiting on long lines in the freezing cold only to enter a packed store to wait on more long checkout lines. Consumers no longer feel as if they are “missing out” on a deal by shopping in the comforts of their own homes.
More 2011 holiday trends:
Social – About 12% of survey participants will use social media outlets to locate deals/discounts and share them with family and friends. Consumers love a deal and as a result they cannot wait to share it with friends on Facebook and Twitter.
Coupons – More than ever, coupons and discounts will become a major factor in shoppers’ final purchase decisions. A good percentage of shoppers said they would use coupons for the first time this year. This also includes high-income earners who are more conscientious of saving a dollar.
Expect shoppers to perform diligent research to find the best deal among competitors. Sending out coupons via email is a good strategy to get a move on your competition. Also, subscribing to your competitors’ lists is another great strategy which will allow you to see what discounts they are offering.
Mobile – Expect mobile sales to increase this year since smartphone and tablets are so popular. According to the NRF survey, while 16% of consumers will use smartphones to make purchases, 70% of tablet owners will also use their devices to make holiday purchases. The large screen size is a much more enjoyable way to shop and the ease of use edges out waiting on a long checkout line any day.
Take advantage of these statistics to appeal to more consumers this year. What other trends are you noticing as holiday shopping begins to escalate?