The National Retail Federation’s survey on consumers and holiday 2015 concludes that this year will be a “very digital holiday season.”
The survey noted that based on consumer responses, “almost half of holiday shopping will be done online.” About 46 percent said their shopping will be conducted online, compared with 44.4 percent last year.
Also, 21.4 percent of smartphone owners said they will use their devices to purchase holiday merchandise this year, the highest since NRF first asked the question in 2011, the trade organization said. In addition, more respondents this year said they will use their smartphones to research products, 37.9 percent versus 35.8 percent last year, and to look for a way to connect with a retail store such as location and directions, 28.4 percent versus 26.9 percent. One in five, or 20.3 percent, said they will use their smartphones to look up product availability in a store. NRF noted that the survey showed that tablet owners plan to be just as active on mobile as their smartphone counterparts. Nearly half, or 47.5 percent, said they will use their devices to research products and 34.5 percent will use their tablets to make a holiday purchase of some kind. That’s similar to last year’s 33 percent. About one-quarter, at 23.5 percent, will check for in-store availability from their tablets.
Further, about half, at 46.7 percent, said free shipping and shipping promotions are important factors in their decision on where to shop. The average planned spending per person is expected to rise to $805.65 this year, compared with $802.45 a year ago.
NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay said, “In an effort to attract all shoppers, from extremely price-sensitive to the online Millennial, retailers will be offering exclusive incentives, low prices, price-matching, top toys and everyone’s favorite, free shipping and buy-online, pick-up-in-store offers.”
As for retail channels, 55.9 percent said they plan to shop at discounters, while 55.6 percent said they will head to department stores. About 52.9 percent said they will go online, while 33.4 percent said they will shop at apparel or accessory stores.