NPD Survey Finds Consumer Mood Brighter Heading Into Holidays

With the holiday season fast approaching, consumers may hit stores in a more upbeat mood with some willing to spend more than last year, according to a recent survey from The NPD Group.

The 2015 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey found that while a majority of consumers plan to hold the line on spending for the coming holiday season, 15% of respondents said they would spend more, up from 12% who offered a similar response in the 2014 survey.

To the converse, 16% of respondents said they plan to spend less this year, down from 20% who in the 2014 survey said they plan to spend less.

“Consumers are ready to spend for the holidays, more so than in recent years,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, The NPD Group. “However, manufacturers and retailers need to pay close attention to what is driving the consumer mindset, and deliver product that anticipates inevitable shifts in their thinking over the course of the season.”

Nearly two-thirds of consumers said they will do pre-purchase research on products, with product reviews from fellow consumers expected to have the greatest impact on a purchase decision, the survey revealed. Other factors playing a greater role with shoppers are professional reviews, social media sites and mobile phone apps.

“Consumers are more complex, and marketers have more opportunities to reach them than ever before,” Cohen said. “Truly connecting with consumers requires interaction and omnipresence, emphasizing a complete experience that extends beyond channels, beyond traditional methods, and beyond the holiday season.”