More consumers intend to start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, a higher percentage of shopping will take place online, and more growth will be seen among the top categories, such as clothing, footwear and accessories, compared to last year, according to a new survey by the NPD Group.
Half of all holiday shoppers plan to start their shopping before Thanksgiving weekend, a 6 percent increase over 2014, according to NPD’s 2015 Holiday Purchase Intentions survey.
Clothing continues to be the most popular category among consumers’ holiday purchase plans this year, with 49 percent of those surveyed planning to include it in their shopping plans, up from 44 percent last year. Footwear is among the top 10 categories consumers plan to purchase during the holiday. This year, 17 percent plan to shop for footwear during the holiday season, compared to 15 percent last year.
Fashion, including clothing, footwear and accessories, is the leading supercategory among consumer purchase intentions for the upcoming season, with 63 percent of shoppers planning to purchase these items. The average planned spend on these items increased 6 percent to $301 compared to 2014 intentions.
According to the NPD survey, brick-and-mortar will be the channel most used by consumers for shopping this holiday season, but online will continue to steal market share. Two-thirds of consumers intend to do some of their holiday shopping online this year, a 12 percent increase over 2014. E-commerce pure-play sites gained the most in terms of planned purchases out of all destinations this year.
“Consumers don’t have a need to seek the deals out of Black Friday the way they did during past holiday seasons. Now the deals come to them, early and often,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst of The NPD Group. “With consumers shopping earlier and more going online, it will be critical for brick[-and-mortar] retailers to take action in order to complete with the click players.”
The survey revealed that fashion and entertainment are the top planned supercategories for holiday purchases, followed by toys. Food/beverages, books, movies/DVDs, video gaming systems/video games, small personal accessories and smartphones are also expected to be popular holiday purchases.