24 Stats On How Consumers Are Approaching Shopping & Spending This Holiday Season

By eleventy marketing group

The mobile Web will play a more prominent role in 2013 Black Friday holiday shoppingAs the last of the leaves fall from the trees, the signs begin to appear: An increasing number of catalogs arrive in the mail. Your email inbox starts to swell with deals. Ultimately, the buildup culminates and explodes with Black Friday—the biggest consumer shopping day of the year.

For many businesses and nonprofits, the holiday season offers a plethora of marketing opportunities. The reason is simple: people are ready, willing and excited to pull out their wallets and open their purses. Unfortunately, the jolly season of spending also means increased competition—with more organizations reaching out to more consumers with more offers.

Given those two factors, it’s important to know how consumers perceive and approach holiday shopping. Whether you’re a retailer, nonprofit or B2B company, this information can help you better reach people and cut through the clutter. Today, we share some eye-opening stats about how consumers are approaching holiday spending this year.

Insightful Statistics from the 2013 Holiday Shopping Survey

All signs point to another record-setting holiday selling season. The National Retail Federation predicts overall sales in November and December of 2013 will increase 3.9% over last year to $602.1 billion. That’s higher than the 10-year average holiday sales growth of 3.3%.

So there’s no question consumers will be spending from Black Friday straight to the New Year. The question is when, where and how they will be spending. Burst Media recently released a report titled Spending Season 2013: Preferences, Intentions and Devices of Holiday Shoppers detailing the results of a survey about how Americans plan on shopping this holiday season. Here are some notable statistics from the report:

Shopping, Timing & Budgeting

74.7% of all respondents say they’ll be shopping this holiday season

29.3% of consumers say they’ll start shopping after Thanksgiving

11.7% of respondents say they’ll wait until the last minute to do their holiday shopping (that includes 17.3% of men and 6.4% of women)

18.7% of consumers say they’ll spend “much more” or “somewhat more” on holiday gifts compared to last year

46.9% said they’ll spend about the same amount as they did last year

22.6% say they’ll spend less money this year than last year

Online Research & Purchasing

91.7% of holiday shoppers will go online this year to research gifts and/or make purchases

45.7% of consumers will use smartphones to research/shop for holiday gifts

41.3% of consumers will use tablets for researching and shopping this holiday season

79.8% of respondents who use a smartphone or tablet to shop say they use shopping apps (such as Amazon, eBay and Zappos) to browse products or make purchases

25.1% of shoppers say their favorite aspect about shopping online or with apps is that it’s more relaxed, helping them avoid the stress of crowds

23.1% of men say convenience is their favorite aspect of online shopping

20.8% of women say the fact digital channels are always open is their favorite aspect of online shopping

7% of consumers say the budget-friendly aspect is their favorite part about going digital for holiday shopping

In-Store Mobile Device Usage

40.3% of consumers who use a smartphone or tablet to shop use their devices at physical retail locations to aid in shopping activities

46.2% of men use mobile devices to assist with shopping inside retail locations versus 34.3% of women

54.3% of dads use a mobile device inside retailers for shopping assistance.

Consumers use mobile devices in stores to:

55.9% compare the prices of different stores
43.7% research the product reviews of different brands
42.7% compare the prices of different brands
37.5% compare features of different brands
37.5% accessing coupons and/or sales promotion codes
25.2% scanning bar codes or QR codes
20.1% accessing personal info for the retailer’s rewards program

Key Takeaways: Targeting, Mobile and Online Imperative to Holiday Marketing Success

The results of this report illustrate the importance of effective audience targeting in holiday marketing. Knowing your audience—who they are (age, income, geography, married, children, etc.), when they shop, where they shop (online vs. in store) and how they shop—is imperative to pairing the right offer with the right consumer. This is a time of year when modeling and analytics can have a truly significant impact on your sales results.

In addition, organizations should be aware of how consumers use your website, apps and the mobile Web in their holiday shopping. By offering access to different brand, product and store pricing comparisons and making online research easy, businesses can provide a better shopping experience. A simple example of this is Target, which now offers (and promotes) free in-store WiFi. Customers can hop on their mobile devices where they are initially pushed to the Target website to encourage product searching and browsing.

By reaching the right audience with the right offer and giving your customers a superior shopping experience, your organization can take full advantage of the 2013 holiday spending season.

About the Spending ‘Season 2013: Preferences, Intentions and Devices of Holiday Shoppers’ report: In early October 2013, Burst Media surveyed 993 US online adults aged 18 or older about how and when they plan to shop for the holidays. View the full report from Burst Media.