Dollars Getting In-Gear for Holiday Spending

The never-ending stream of holiday forecasts is now flowing, projecting a wide range of insights into the scope of commerce this time around.

Depending on the view, holiday sales this year will be either up or down.

Sales in November and December will increase 4% to $617 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. This would represent 19% of the retail industry’s annual sales of more than $3 trillion, according to the NRF.

The forecast is based on an economic model using indicators such as consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales.

On the other side, citing concerns on the economy, amount of disposable income and the rising cost of living, average household holiday spending will drop to $684 from $735 last year, according to a nationwide survey of 2,200 shoppers conducted by PwC and Strategy&.



We know from numerous studies that mobile shoppers are attracted to deals, as in finding the best price. The PwC study found that most (84%) of shoppers see the best price as the main reason for choosing a place to purchase gifts, followed by deals.

The PwC study identified the top areas where shoppers will spend their holiday dollars:

  • 61% -- Everyday clothing
  • 58% -- Gift cards
  • 39% -- Toys
  • 36% -- Personal electronics
  • 31% -- Media and entertainment

In yet another projection, overall holiday gift spending will be 8% higher this year. This is based on data from shoppers from a select group of 150 retailers tracked in the Prosper Trending Score (In-Store, Holiday Shopping & the Mobile Influence).

Another forecast identifies a slightly smaller growth of 5% in holiday sales this year. That annual forecast from Deloitte sees total in-store and online holiday sales hitting $986 billion, with smartphones, tablets and PCs influencing half of all brick and mortar sales.

While the growing influence of mobile on all sales seems obvious, most merchants (68%) have no plans for new investments in new mobile infrastructure for the holiday season, according to a survey of 1,000 retailers by Edelman Berland for eBay Enterprises.

No matter if sales are up a lot, a little or slightly down, the number of dollars spent this holiday season will be large.

Mobile will determine where many of those dollars go.


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