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US Holiday consumers plan to spend more, target apparel and search widely for a good deal – report

No surprises here but the devil is in the detail. Apparel again tops the list of gift buying and US consumers will spend more this Holiday searching multiple retailers to find the best deal. Online will be key with the vast majority of shoppers checking Amazon first before looking or buying elsewhere, according to the 10th annual Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey.

Now here’s the interesting bits: some 49% of shoppers plan to spend more on their Holiday shopping than a year ago while 72% would be enticed by promotions or coupons to shop at a store they have not used in the last year.

Apparel is the most popular item for the Holiday shopping season for the second consecutive year, cited by 78% of respondents, up from 69% in 2015. The ever-popular gift card came in second, cited by 74%, verses 64% last year.

Some 65% plan to shop on Black Friday and 36% believe the best deals will be available on that day. A slightly smaller 47% are likely to shop on Thanksgiving day/night but 72% plan to do so online, up from 60% in 2015.

Meanwhile, the number of people who said they plan to shop on Cyber Monday increased 11% to 57%.

Exactly half of shoppers expect to do the majority of their shopping online, with 43% saying they expect to do the majority of their shopping in-store, down from 48% last year.

Purchasing online with in-store delivery/pickup was the top retailer benefit that shoppers plan to take advantage of this year, cited by 48% of respondents, up from 36% in 2015. Some 71% also said they were likely to purchase additional items during their in-store visit.

Shoppers are also open to sharing personal information and shopping preferences with retailers in order to receive personalised offers.

Webrooming and showrooming will be especially prevalent, with 81% planning to participate in each, up on 2015, but we’re not told by how much.

Now for the fickle news: 62% of consumers cited shipping costs as the main frustration keeping them from purchasing more goods online; while long queues are the main frustration keeping consumers from purchasing more goods in-store.

“The good news is that US consumers plan to spend more and are increasingly willing to share personal information to receive offers – but they remain focused on frugal bargain hunting,” said Jill Standish, senior managing director of Retail at Accenture. “The clear opportunity for retailers is to learn all they can about their customers and use these insights to provide the personalised and timely deals consumers are seeking. By optimizing inventory and marketing, they can increase the profitability of each customer visit to their store or website and maximize each click.”

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