Results emerging from the 33rd annual Deloitte holiday shopping survey include a second year of online shopping gains as consumers said they expect to spend 57% of their budgets online and 36% in brick and mortar stores.
The in-store number this year results from a 10 percentage point drop in brick and mortar purchase intention that proceeded over the past four years.
Total holiday spending— including for gifts, gift cards and non-gift items— will average $1,536 per household, according to the survey results, with $611 of that budget directed to experiences such as holiday entertaining and socializing outside of home. About $525 will go toward gifts and gift cards, but that is up 20% from the $430 realized in 2017. Gift cards represented the top purchase category identified by consumers with apparel coming in second. Just over half of consumers expressed an intention to buy in each of those categories. As for budget allocation, 51% of respondents said they would buy for themselves while shopping for others, with the figure up 15 points over the past five years.
Deloitte pointed out that consumers are focusing less on major shopping days this year, with just 44% of survey respondents saying they’ll rely on Black Friday as they did in the past versus the 47% of respondents who did so in 2017. As for Cyber Monday, 53% of respondents said they would continue to count on the e-commerce event as part of their holiday shopping plans compared with 57% last year.
Although more online shoppers plan to purchase on their laptops and personal computers this year, at 79%, Deloitte noted that, of those who shop on their mobile devices, 67% plan to do holiday shopping via smart phone this year compared with 59% in 2017. Two-thirds of consumers said they would research online retailers as part of their holiday shopping, with 56% saying they would check on brick and mortar stores, the same proportion that plan to scrutinize online search engine results.
Online retailers and mass merchant stores remain the top shopping destinations for holiday shoppers, cited by 60% and 52% respectively. Department stores followed at 32% followed by off-price, at 28%.
Deloitte added that 82% of survey respondents said promotions influence their holiday shopping, with 95% of consumers declaring that price discounts are the most appealing kind of promotion. Consumers who begin holiday shopping before Thanksgiving accounted for 60% of survey respondents, and the early birds expect to spend 28%, or $370, more than those who jump into holiday shopping later in the season.