shopping

Similar to the red-and-white swirls of a candy cane, holiday survey data notes a “merging of shopping channels” during the holiday season in a blend of both physical and digital sectors.

The consumer consumes both, but not equally. Just as he or she spends with store preferences, budgeting needs or product categories in mind — generational influences have an impact, according to two recent reports.

Even predating the decoration shelf stocking, 34.4 percent of consumers begin their 2018 holiday shopping pre-Thanksgiving according to insights from JLL Retail, a global intelligence provider for retailers.

Not to discount brick-and-mortar, JLL Retail survey also reveals that 57.3 percent of shoppers will shop in physical retailers for the majority of their holiday shopping.

Mapping “uncharted territories” from a consumer perspective, JLL surveyed 1,000 male and female U.S. consumers online over Oct. 3 through Oct. 5, showing statistical increases in purchasing patterns during the holiday anticipation.

In addition to revealing gendered shopping behavior during the holiday rush, the survey also focused on generational differences and income levels with a comparison between brick-and-mortar and mobile shopping.

Touching on the generational nuances in holiday shopping behavior, a separate survey by Junior Achievement USA, a nonprofit organization promoting the economic and educational achievements of young people, provided evidence that over half of teen shoppers plan to shop in a physical store this season.

While highlighting the importance of physical stores, JLL’s holiday shopping survey also reinforced increased mobile prominence for holiday shoppers, with just over half using their phones to engage in purchases, up from 2017 estimates and marking a 22.2 percent increase.

According to James Cook, director of retail research at JLL, “physical retail will continue to be the number-one channel in terms of volume by far this holiday season” but channel blending is a sparked trend across digital and physical experiences.

And Greg Maloney, chief executive officer of JLL Retail agreed, saying this omnichannel experience “will continue to transform from a transactional-only model to an immersive and experiential one” with potential for a push in holiday spending with the upwards of 6 percent.

There is also evidence of a change in how physical stores will operate, with cost-cutting tactics and warehousing an important step in holiday logistics.

While brick-and-mortar holds relevance in holiday spending, mobile is still vital. Consumers are using mobile to scout discounts, product reviews and find inspiration, with Gen X shoppers more likely to use their phones to make online orders compared to other cohorts.

Echoing the generational divide, Junior Achievement’s Black Friday survey, which presented the findings of a Youth CARAVAN survey with a sample of over 1,000 teens ages 13 to 17 in October, showed how respondents may share a resurged preference for in-store.

According to Junior Achievement, the majority of teens, or 54 percent, will prefer to shop at brick-and-mortar locations such as Walmart and Target this holiday season.

Perhaps in an effort to wean from the Internet, 46 percent of teens said they would be shopping online, with 35 percent opting to shop at malls.

With products, clothing reigns as a top gifting choice at 54 percent, with gift cards, video games and other product categories following suit among the teen community.

As revealed in both surveys, the holiday push is a sweet divide among generations.

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