Accenture is predicting an increase in holiday sales this year, with millennials shaping up to be the major spending force.
The research uncovered a few surprises, too, including an increasing desire among younger shoppers to shop at places with the most diversity and inclusion -- not just in ads, but in store staffing.
It also finds that millennials, the butt of so many take-out pizza jokes, are upping their entertaining game, planning more -- and more elaborate -- parties at home than in prior years.
Based on 1,500 respondents, the study predicts an average holiday spend of $658 this year, up from $632 last year, with only 11% of the total sample saying they’re likely to cut back from last year’s spending.
Older millennials (28 to 37) say they’ll spend $779, and almost four times as many younger millennials say they plan to spend more.
For the first time, Accenture asked about diversity and inclusion, says Jill Standish, senior managing director and head of Accenture’s retail practice. “This was a big 'aha’ for us. At a time in society when people expect things to be so transparent, shoppers in their 20s and 30s really do care about this,” she tells Marketing Daily.
“And it’s not just about ad campaigns and messaging and signs in stores. They expect to see that diversity -- ethnic, more curvy models, more dads, more people with disabilities, transgender people -- in everything, including staffing.”
The study found that 54% of younger millennials (21 to 27) say retailers have a responsibility to address diversity issues, compared to 48% of the overall sample. And 51% say they are more likely to shop where retailers show awareness, compared to 44% overall.
Accenture included questions about food served at holiday meals for the first time, and 86% of shoppers said food quality is either important or very important, and that they are more likely to trade up for the holidays.
While 35% of the overall sample plan to host more holiday get-togethers than they did last year, millennials are way out in front, with those in the 21-to-27 age group 50% more likely to do so than baby boomers.
“I love that millennials are now seeing themselves as carrying on holiday traditions, and to trade up to do so,” Standish tells Marketing Daily.
The report also finds that social media is gaining ground as a shopping platform, with15% planning to buy something on social this holiday, up from 8% last year. And 14% are checking out Instagram before looking or buying online, up from 6%.