Holiday spending is expected to increase this year in the U.S. with 44% of consumers planning to spend more than last year, according to a new report from Accenture. However, frugality is the theme this year as shoppers want more for their money and are willing to get the best deals.
The survey found that 42% of consumers said they rarely or never expect to pay full price for an item during the holiday season. In addition, 67% said they will purchase items from different stores or websites to get the lowest price.
Fifty-four percent of survey respondents said they are open to sharing personal information and shopping preferences with retailers, compared to 51% last year and 33% in 2014. The top factors in getting shoppers to share personal data are discounts or coupons (78%), loyalty cards (52%) and highly relevant promotions (47%).
“The good news is that U.S. 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 Direct of Retail at Accenture in a release. “The clear opportunity for retailers is to learn all they can about their customers and use these insights to provide the personalized 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.”
The survey found that shoppers will do their research before beginning holiday shopping. Eighty-one percent of them said they plan to participate in webrooming (shopping online before purchasing in store) and the number said they plan to showroom (visiting a store to review a product before purchasing it online.). In addition, 84% of shoppers said they check Amazon before looking or buying anywhere else.
Accenture found more shoppers expect to do a majority of their shopping online (50%), compared to in store (43%, 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.
Sixty-two percent of shoppers said their main frustration that keeps them from buying more goods online are shipping costs (55%), not being able to touch the product (55%) and shipping delays (40%).
The survey found that omnichannel offerings could lead to more sales as 71% of shoppers who plan to use the buy online pickup in store option said they are likely to purchase additional items during the store visit.
“Consumers have a habit of doing research before they shop or make a purchase and this trend only intensifies during the holiday season,” said Standish. “Retailers must provide consumers with a hassle-free shopping experience, whether they are shopping online or in-store.”
Sixty-five percent of survey respondents said they plan to shop on Black Friday and 36% said they believe the best deals are on that day. Forty-seven percent of shoppers are likely to shop on Thanksgiving Day, but 72% plan to do so online, vs. 60% in 2015.
Only 25% of shoppers believe that Thanksgiving should be spent with family versus holiday shopping, and the percentage is even lower among 18-24 year olds (17%). Fifty-seven percent of shoppers said the plan to shop on Cyber Monday, an 11% increase this year.