More shoppers are planning to shop in a physical store this year as compared to last year, according to the latest holiday purchase intentions survey from The NPD Group. The company found that consumers expect to make more of their holiday purchases in stores (46 percent) versus online (45 percent).
“Checkout receipt-based insights from NPD also support these new findings, as in-store sales revenue grew 1 percent in September compared to last year, while online sales were flat,” the company said in a statement.
Marshal Cohen, chief retail industry adviser for NPD, said after more than two years of heavy online shopping, “consumers are ready to get back to the sport of shopping. Despite saying they plan on scaling back holiday spending this year, sales revenue through October fell 1 percent below last year’s levels, which shows that shoppers are still willing to spend money on general merchandise, even as prices continue to rise.”
The data follows several other reports that show consumers are being more frugal and cautious about how and where they spend. Inflation continues to impact the consumer mindset. But as Cohen noted, people are still shopping.
NPD also found that close to 80 percent of respondents “still plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping online, but plans to shop pure-play e-commerce retailers declined since last year.” Less than 75 percent of those polled said they expect to shop online-only websites this year versus 79 percent last year.
“Among those planning to shop online, 16 percent anticipate picking up their purchases in stores or curbside, compared to 14 percent last year, which will increase foot traffic at brick-and-mortar stores,” the authors of the report said.
Cohen also noted the role of impulse purchases and self-gifting. He described it as “an integral part of the holiday mix; without them, it is hard to achieve growth. Success this season depends on the ability of retailers to leverage promotions and exciting products that play to feelings of shopping cheer. Increasing in-store shopping levels will deliver greater benefits to retailers that can entice consumers into buying on impulse, which could help move excess inventory out the door while also giving store bottom lines a boost.”
Last week, the National Retail Federation said it expects U.S. holiday sales to increase between 6 and 8 percent. The year-over-year gain in the 2021 holiday shopping season was 13.5 percent, which set a record.