Deloitte: Experiences Trump Gifts For The Holidays

The consumer spend will gain but experiences continue to weigh against product purchasing as the holiday season approaches, according to Deloitte’s annual Holiday Survey. Two-thirds of respondents stated that they plan to spend on travel or socializing outside their homes as part of their year-end festivities.

Consumers plan to spend an average of $391 on travel, hotels and restaurants, accounting for 26% of the approximately $1,500 they intend to devote to the holidays. The proportion rises to 40% when seasonal entertaining at home figures in. In direct comparison, consumers plan to devote about 40% of their holiday spending to travel, restaurants and related experiences outside the home, as well as in-home celebrations, 34% on gifts and 25% on a combination of clothing for themselves and their families and home and holiday decor. About 9% of total holiday retail spending will go to home furnishings and housewares, according to Deloitte, but the average spend, which represent dollars generated by the 36% of consumers who plan to purchase in the categories during the season, will be $280.

Deloitte pointed out that households earning $100,000 or more will generate 65% of total holiday dollars spent, while “high spenders,” those planning to spend $2,100 or more in the season, will account for 60% of the total.

Overall, given the survey results, the $1,500 figure represents a consumer intention to spend 4.5% to 5% more in the upcoming holiday season as compared to the last, Deloitte pointed out. The consulting firm anticipates e-commerce spending to gain by 14% to 18%. Respondents said they would spend 59% of their holiday budget online, compared with 36% in store, with 70% of smartphone users saying they expect to make a purchase using their devices versus 41% five years ago.

Other results from the survey suggest that people will exchange data for deals, as 61% of consumers said they were willing to provide personal information in exchange for promotions or discounts. Meanwhile, 81% of survey respondents said they expect promotions to influence them this holiday season with price discounts, at 74%, and free shipping, at 72%, deemed most attractive, well ahead of of BOGOs, at 39% and cash back, at 29%.