Holiday Shoppers to Spend More on Gifts This Year

Allison Howen
by Allison Howen 15 Oct, 2013

One in five consumers plan to spend more on gifts this year according to the Holiday Shopping Survey from Accenture, which is welcomed news for retailers both on and off the Web.

Along with increased spending, however, this year's consumers also plan to seek out discounts and sales. In fact, 94 percent of the survey's respondents consider discounts to be an important aspect of their spending decisions this holiday season, which is an increase from 84 percent in 2012. Plus, nearly half of the respondents (49 percent) expect three-quarters or more of their purchases to be for discounted or sale items.

Black Friday is also forecasted to be a busier day this holiday season, with 55 percent of shoppers saying they are likely to be out shopping on this day compared to 53 percent in 2012. That said, a lot of Black Friday shopping will actually be conducted online, as 30 percent of shoppers claim they will do the majority of their Black Friday shopping online rather than in-stores. The study also sheds light on early bird shoppers, with 73 percent of respondents claiming they have already started their holiday shopping or plan to do most of it by the end of November.

Another notable insight reveals that 42 percent of the surveyed consumers plan to spend half of their shopping dollars online. However, many of these consumers will be looking for store-focused technology-enabled services, including online purchase with in-store pick-up (36 percent) and the ability to see up-to-date information on product availability (21 percent).

"To be successful, retailers must be able to satisfy consumers who, more than ever, want to shop on their terms and expect every step in the journey to be a seamless one, whether they are online, shopping in a store or using their phones," said Chris Donnelly, global managing director of Accenture's Retail practice. "The list of consumer expectations of how they should be able to shop - from finding the same prices and promotions in a store as they do online to buying online and returning to a store - is getting longer every day. Increasingly, holiday-season winners will be defined by their ability to deliver a seamless experience to the consumer."