Port Washington, NY–While consumers say they plan to spend more this holiday compared to last year, their comparison shopping and search for the best deal may increase promotions this year.
In its 12th annual survey of consumers’ holiday spending intentions released Tuesday, The NPD Group, Inc., a global information company, the majority of consumers intend to spend the same as or more than last year, with fewer saying they plan to spend less.
“Consumers are feeling better about the economy compared to last year and they plan to take advantage of sales during key periods,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD. “But this year’s holiday will be a tricky one for retailers. With fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Government distractions, and lack of newness in the marketplace, retailers will have to rely more on promotions to excite the consumer.”
Comparison shopping and comparing prices online remain consumers’ top pre-purchase actions. One-third of consumers plan to buy all of their holiday gifts on sale.
Consumers’ purchasing plans are similar to last year, with the same top 10 items on their holiday shopping list. “With no new trendy items besides some updated versions of the same hot products from past years, consumers will not shop with fear due to lack of inventory. The must-have items will also be available at a wider variety of retailers, minimizing the panic shopping of years past,” said Cohen.
Overall, the holiday shopping season will get off to an earlier start compared to last year. According to the survey, this year more consumers have already started, or will start shopping before Thanksgiving. “Consumers who plan to shop early expect the retailers to respond with extended store hours, and better deals offered earlier,” said Cohen.
The online channel grew 5% compared to last year. High-income consumers, earning $75,000 or more, are more likely to shop this year on e-commerce sites. By comparison, other channels remained basically stable.
“Researching online for the best deals will play a bigger role this year with social media continuing to influence consumers’ holiday purchases,” said Cohen. “The expansion of Black Friday weekend deals will also be a major player in the discount offerings. Look for promotions to start well ahead of Black Friday to create a much greater consumer opportunity for stores and online.”
About the Survey
The NPD Holiday Spending Survey of Consumer Purchase Intentions was fielded to members of NPD’s online consumer panel from September 3 to September 11. The survey was fielded to a U.S. representative sample; the findings presented here represent 4,000 completed surveys. NPD maintains an online panel of nearly 2 million consumers who tell us about their shopping habits.
About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining data assets with unmatched industry expertise, NPD helps clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food/food service, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games.
This week, NPD announced it signed an agreement to acquire the retail sales tracking and consumer research businesses of Leisure Trends, the Boulder, CO-based leader in market research for the sports and recreation industries.The combined businesses will provide the most comprehensive sales information available to the sports and recreation industries. Together Leisure Trends and NPD collect sales data from more than 26,000 doors spanning all industry channels of distribution, including sporting goods, specialty stores, department stores, mass merchants, and e-commerce.
The new business will also offer proprietary online panels with access to more than 2 million individuals for insight into consumer behavior, preferences, and purchase drivers. The Most Active Americans PanelTM (MAAPTM) is a quantitative panel of early adopters who can help predict trends in the broader sports market. The Core Athlete Outdoor Enthusiast Panel offers access to individuals who participate in specific activities or sports for targeted research. For more information, visit www.npd.com.