The largest percentage of respondents - 44% - said their holiday spending would be the same as last year, predicting a total spend of between $200 and $499. Almost one-half (45%) said that sale items would be “very influential” in their purchasing decisions. In fact, 43% said that, due to the economic downturn, they would look for more sales and promotions.
“Clearly, this holiday season will be highly promotional,” said Angela Selden, managing partner at Accenture North American Retail industry group. “Retailers who can attract customers with compelling promotions and convert that traffic into sales with appealing merchandise and in-store offers are poised to win.”
Given a heightened fear of terrorism, it was somewhat surprising the physical store was by far the most popular shopping venue, with 83% of all respondents citing it as their first choice. The Internet was a distant second, with 11% of respondents reporting it would be their first choice for shopping.
Forty-three percent of respondents reported that they do not plan to shop more on the Internet than they did last year. Of those, 67% stated it is because they prefer physical stores. Almost one-quarter (23%) of respondents said that they do expect to shop more on the Internet than they did last year. Of those, 63% cited the convenience of online shopping, 15% said they find more sales and promotions online, and 11% enjoyed the ability to make purchases online and have items shipped directly to friends and family. Thirty-three percent of respondents planned to shop online the same amount as last year.
For all shoppers, clothing proved to be the most sought after gift item. More than three-quarters (76%) said they plan to purchase clothing from a physical store, 45% plan to purchase clothing from a catalog and 215 intend to do so through the Internet.
“Overall, consumers will continue to spend money during the holiday season, but there is likely to be a significant shift in where those dollars are spent,” concluded Selden. “The savvy retailers will capture those dollars by using information and analytics to quickly respond with pricing, presentation and advertising changes that capitalize on what early trends are telling them.”