Deloitte: Multi-Channel Shoppers Will Lead Holiday Sales

According to Deloitte’s 29th annual holiday survey, optimism about the economy is kindling holiday cheer as shoppers plan on spending more this year, the company reported today. Tech-savvy shoppers have even higher purchasing expectations, a study commission by the audit and consulting firm indicated.

Consumers will spend more this holiday, Deloitte asserted, with those who shop across store, mobile and online channels ready to shell out more cash than single-channel shoppers.

Among the findings Deloitte announced:

  • Total holiday spending will increase by 13% to $1,299 per household when gifts, socializing away from home, entertaining at home, non-gift clothing for family or self, home/holiday furnishings, and any other designated holiday-related spending are factored in.
  • Spending on just gifts should rise by 9% to $458 this year from $421 last year.
  • Consumers who shop across store, mobile and online channels will like spend 66% more on gifts than those shopping stores only, $592 versus $357.
  • Consumers, on average, will purchase 13.4 gifts this holiday season, up from 12.9 in 2013, but nearly 10 gifts less than the high of 23.1 in 2007.

Deloitte also pointed out that consumers will focus on shopping the Internet and discount/value stores this holiday season, with almost half of consumers reporting that they will shop either or both of those channels. However, 68% of consumers said they planned to do local shopping as the year ends, primarily to support the local economy and find unique gifts.

Just over half of respondents to the Deloitte study indicate they are concerned about the protection of their personal data when shopping online, while 42% have the same concerns in-store. Although 56% indicated they would continue to shop this holiday season at retailers that have experienced a data breach, a substantial plurality express wariness about store banners that have had information pilfered.

New shopping styles will influence the holidays, as 68% of consumers indicated they would go online to look at an item, then go to a store to see it and buy it there, know as webrooming. In the meantime, 49% of consumers suggested they would go to a store to look at an item, search online for the best price, then purchase online, following the shopping pattern identified as showrooming.

Consumers said they planned to take advantage of various retailer promotions this year, Deloitte maintained, including free shipping, at 68%; free returns, at 52%; price matching, at 45%; extended holiday hours; at 35%, order online for pick up in-store, at 34%; and free layaway, at 16%. Three-quarters of consumers stated that coupons/promotions would effect their purchasing.

In terms of promotional periods, 47% of survey respondents said they do not rely on Black Friday as much as they used to for holiday shopping, Deloitte pointed out.

December is the month for the bulk of holiday shopping for 43% of Deloitte study respondents.

In announcing the research results Alison Paul, vice chairman and retail sector leader, Deloitte LLP, said, “With the short, 27-day shopping stretch between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, retailers need to be sharp with their promotional timing, inventory management and distribution capabilities. Retailers that can fulfill orders from both online distribution centers and store inventories, for example, may be more nimble and poised to respond quickly to pockets of high demand for certain gifts— and ensure timely holiday deliveries.”

Deloitte commissioned the research study, which was conducted online by an independent research company between September 13 and September 24. The survey polled a sample of 5,033 consumers across the United States and has a margin of error for the entire sample of plus or minus one percentage point, Deloitte related.