As retailers continue to brace themselves for a shortened holiday shopping season, a new report by Rakuten Marketing reveals seasonal shopping begins with cost-saving holidays and predicts consumers will continue to shop in-store.
According to the consumer report from Rakuten Marketing, 61 percent of shoppers, ages 25 to 65 will still look to shop for holiday gifts in physical stores, in addition to the 57 percent of shoppers over age 65 who plan to shop in-store.
“Contrary to what many may believe, brick-and-mortar is still thriving — especially during the holiday season,” says Julie Van Ullen, managing director at Rakuten Marketing. “Brands, of course, must strike a balance between online and in-store experiences for the holiday season, but if they want to capitalize on the majority of consumers who have the most money to spend, they need to invest in innovative in-store experiences to attract and retain foot traffic.”
While at a high this year, in-store trends may shift downward in the next several years as a younger generation begins to represent a higher percentage of consumers. According to findings by Rakuten Marketing, 64 percent of consumers age 18 to 24 are more likely to spend online. “Brands need to ensure that they have strategies to meet shoppers however they choose to engage — whether it is in-store, online or blending the two with ‘buy online and pick up in-store,’” said Ullen.
Meanwhile, 48 percent of consumers said they expect to complete their holiday shopping on or before Black Friday. These early shoppers, the company says, are driven by a desire to capitalize on deals. The survey found almost half of shoppers will focus on gift purchases around Black Friday with just over 30 percent focusing on Cyber Monday.
“Each year we see consumers starting to shop earlier in the week to take advantage of early holiday deals,” said Ullen. “If strategically placed, brands can seize this opportunity to speak to consumers sooner, if they have a compelling offer.”
Additionally, despite often hearing about late holiday shoppers, findings in the survey revealed only 13 percent of respondents to identify as last-minute shoppers. Of these last-minute shoppers, 43 percent said they are not led by discounts or sales to make gift purchases, rather they are influenced by low to free shipping costs.
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