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 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 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.