Holiday spending expected to rise 5%, but don’t expect bigger crowds at the mall — here’s why

It may only be September, but the December holiday shopping rush is just around the corner.

Around 50% of consumers have already started looking for items on their friends’ and family’s wish lists, according to a new online survey from The Harris Poll and OpenX, an ad exchange network, that polled 2,000 shoppers in August.

The holidays are a critical time for many brands: Sales during this time of year can make up 30% of a retailer’s annual revenue. Heading into the gift-giving season, shoppers are expected to spend 5% more this year than they did last year, according to the survey.

“What we found should be encouraging to retail marketers trying to drive action this holiday season,” said Tim Cadogan, chairman and chief executive officer for OpenX. “Consumers are optimistic about the future of the economy and their optimism will fuel increased spending.”

However, while consumers plan to spend more this year, they also plan to spend their money differently than last year. Cadogan’s team expects 53% of all holiday shopping to be done digitally.

In fact, around 20% of purchases are expected to happen on mobile devices, driven predominantly by millennial shoppers.

With more than half of holiday shoppers reporting that they spend more than three hours a day on their mobile devices, it’s no wonder their shopping habits are shifting. One-click ordering and mobile-friendly retail sites and apps have made purchasing anything from dishes to swimsuits incredibly easy.

This growing shift could even impact how consumers purchase items on big shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“On Black Friday, traditionally a day for brick-and-mortar, the number of consumers planning to shop online vs. in store is almost identical,” the report said.

Source: CNBC - Sarah Whitten published on September 23, 2019.