Consumers will spend more on holiday shopping this year, according to a new survey of 1,500 US consumers. They also appear to be less concerned with the economy and their overall financial situation than they were last year.
Accenture’s 12th annual holiday shopping survey found nine in 10 respondents said they plan to spend as much or more than they did last year – 53 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Only 11 percent plan to spend less. The survey found millennials (aged 21 – 37) are likely to be the biggest spenders.
Here are the ways respondents will shop: 76% instore; 70% online; 23% mobile; 15% social media; and 10% catalog.
The study also found shoppers are moving beyond “product” gifts and purchasing more “experience” gifts. In fact, the number of shoppers who said they plan to buy physical products as gifts this year dropped 11 percentage points from last year, to 73 percent. The number of shoppers who said they planned to buy experience or service gifts increased 5 percentage points, to 49 percent.
Experience gifts include travel, dining out, concerts and the theatre. Service gifts include lawncare, home cleaning and spa treatments.
Interestingly, social media is growing as a shopping platform. The percentage of respondents planning to use social-media sites for their holiday shopping this year nearly doubled, to 15 percent from 8 percent last year.
The number of respondents who said they check Instagram before looking or buying elsewhere online more than doubled this year to 14 percent, up from 6 percent last year.
The head of Accenture’s Retail practice Jill Standish said shoppers want to purchase on social channels. “Social media continues to be a real disruptor in targeting today’s consumers, who are spending a great deal of time in these channels and naturally want to be able to purchase directly, through the click of a button,” she said. “Now, more than ever, it’s imperative for retailers to further rethink and redesign their digital shopping capabilities and methods so they can meet customers on their terms.”
Shoppers are also willing to try new shopping by voice: 14% of respondents use Amazon Echo, and 53% said they were willing or would definitely use it. And 11% use Google Home, and 52% said they were willing or would definitely use it.
The survey also asked about inclusion and diversity practices with regards to age, gender, ethnicity and disability. 54 percent of younger millennials surveyed believe that retailers have a responsibility and duty toward addressing wider social and political issues with regards to diversity. And 51 percent of younger millennials (aged 21 – 27) are more likely to shop at a retailer that demonstrates awareness of such issues.
SOURCE: Accenture Press Release