Holiday Spending is Expected to Increase 10% During 2016 Season, Although Store-Based Retailers

PwC outlines the big trends that are expected to drive the 2016 holiday shopping season

  1. Bigger holiday budgets: Shoppers will likely spend 10 percent more this holiday season; an average of $1,121 each. And consumers with annual household incomes less than $50,000 will likely increase their percentage spending levels even more than consumers overall.
  2. Chill for the holidays: Hipsters – upwardly mobile, college-educated millennials living in enclaves such as Austin, Brooklyn, Oakland, and Portland – will likely spend $500 more this season than consumers overall. And they will likely spend a hefty third of their holiday budget on themselves.
  3. Shopping is social for Gen Z: At 86 million strong, Gen Z’s influence is indisputable in the proliferation of interactive digital content, especially mobile video. These social media whiz kids are tactile; they like stuff – unlike millennials who prefer experiences. Reviews from actual product users appeal to them while ads don’t.
  4. Millennial parents think of others first: Millennial parents – often juggling full-time jobs while caring for young children – are almost twice as likely as other consumers to use a mobile device to pay for purchases. Far more optimistic about the economy, they start shopping earlier than consumers overall and enjoy it more (75 percent versus 61 percent).
  5. Holiday time … and the buying is easy: Used to frictionless checkout online, customers want a similar fast and easy checkout experience in-store. They also want Wi-Fi access to check product availability and prices. And knowledgeable sales associates to help find products and explain features.
  6. Thumbs a-tapping in a mobile wonderland: Anticipating an almost 25 percent increase in annual digital sales, retailers are boosting their investment in digital channels. Meanwhile, mobile shopping is up almost 25 percent over last year. From scouting products and monitoring deals to paying for products and tracking packages, shoppers are going mobile.
  7. I want it … now: Some 60 percent of retailers indicated they will provide both free shipping and free returns this holiday season – a must-have for consumers. Retailers are offering a variety of online and in-store ordering and delivery (or pick-up) options to provide the optimum mix of convenience, price, speed, and variety.
  8. There’s always a deal … somewhere: As global borders shrink and the world’s population becomes more mobile, consumers shop year-round, lured by a flurry of deals and discounts. In fact, 64 percent of consumers indicated they will begin holiday shopping before the start of Black Friday week. And 29 percent will have completed most of it by then.
  9. Brands matter: Brands matter to 80 percent of the survey respondents ….

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