Consumers are still very cautious about spending; 52% say affordability
will be a big consideration in their purchase decisions. But
73% expect to find great deals this holiday, up from 62% in
2011. Just over 50% say that just
surviving the economic downturn is a
good enough reason to celebrate this
year. Fifty-three percent intend to
purchase a luxury item–typically one
that the whole family can enjoy. Last
year, only 41% were planning a luxury
purchase. Gift cards will once again be very popular; 80 million
shoppers plan to purchase them, up 4% from 2011.
45% of consumers plan to give a downloadable gift this
year–like an eBook, music or a movie.
But that comfort with the web will pose a very real threat
to brick and mortar stores. Forty percent of
shoppers say that their buying strategy will involve
“showrooming” or browsing in stores for items that they subsequently
purchase online. The biggest challenge this season for brick-and-mortar
retailers is determining how to drive more than their fair
share of ‘showcasing volume’ to their websites rather than
Amazon.com or another competitor. In order to overcome this showcasing,
retailers have to have robust websites of their own and
apps that can direct shoppers to their own internet sites,
rather than others like Amazon.com. They need to use
QR code driven promotions, give free shipping for items
bought in their online stores and make sure that
salespersons are as familiar with the offerings at the
retailers’ websites as they are with what is one the floor.
Retailers will need to adjust their holiday sales
strategies to embrace an evolving consumer mindset,
favoring a more seamless shopping experience through
smartphones and in-store opportunities.