Let’s face it: As much as we like to be creative in our gift-giving, for many of us, those five golden rings will more likely be gift cards.
And it’s not for lack of creativity. Rather, it is the result of desire. The fact that lots of people prefer to receive gift cards for the holidays is among several surprising findings gleaned from various holiday consumer surveys conducted in the past few months.
The research also revealed some unexpected paths to purchase among consumers today. I scoured holiday survey results from six sources and plucked 12 noteworthy numbers (some that contradict others) that could define this holiday season.
$1 trillion: The total expected holiday sales this year are actually expected to exceed $1 trillion. That represents a 3.6% to 4% increase over 2015. (Deloitte, “<a holiday-retail-sales-consumer-survey.html?id="us:2em:3na:holiday:dup3524:awa:cip:102616''">2016 Holiday Survey”)
13%: The percentage of last-minute shoppers who plan to buy their gifts at supermarkets or grocery stores. (National Retail Federation, “Holiday 2016: Consumer Survey Highlights”)
$419: The average amount U.S. adults plan to spend on holiday-related items this holiday season, (International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC, “The 2016 ICSC Super Saturday study”)
8%: The expected increase in holiday spending among Americans in 2016, compared with 2015. (“American Express Spending & Saving Tracker”)
$244: The average total cash contribution by surveyed consumers who are donating cash to charitable causes this year. (PWC’s “2016 Holiday Outlook: It’s the Most Digital Time of the Year”)
64%: The share of Americans who purchased online, picked up in store and then also made an additional in-store purchase during Thanksgiving weekend. (ICSC “Thanksgiving/Black Friday Shopping Report”)
76%: The percentage of Americans who are using mobile devices for their holiday shopping this year. (“American Express Spending & Saving Tracker”)
42%: The percentage of consumers who said they would like to receive a gift card. (PWC’s “2016 Holiday Outlook: It’s the Most Digital Time of the Year”)
84%: The portion of consumers who plan to check Amazon.com before looking or buying elsewhere. (Accenture, “10th Annual Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey”)
25%: The projected percentage increase in annual mobile sales (PWC’s “2016 Holiday Outlook: It’s the Most Digital Time of the Year”)
72%: The share of consumers enticed by coupons or promotions to shop at a store they have not visited in the past year. (Accenture, “10th Annual Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey”)
48%: The percentage of shoppers who plan to shop after-Christmas sales in the store. (National Retail Federation, “Holiday 2016: Consumer Survey Highlights”)
All in, these numbers add up to a lot of change. However, it is change that will define retail in 2017, ideally for the better. Whether we give (or receive) gift cards, jewelry or food for the holidays, I send best wishes for a happy, healthy and — for retailers — fruitful season.