Add Deloitte to the list of prognosticators who see a bright side to this year’s holiday shopping season. The firm recently published its 26th annual survey on the topic. Not surprisingly, Deloitte’s forecast supports what others have been saying about digital and mobile trends. But the forecast includes a few surprises.
Overall, Deloitte analysts expect 59% of consumers will spend a little more on this year’s holiday season. Those who plan to spend less say they are contending with higher food, gas and energy prices. In general, the average shopper will buy 14.7 gifts. This number has dropped steadily since 2008. The average higher-income household, earning at least $100,000, will spend about $812 on gifts while those who earn less than $100,000 will spend an average of $291. Consumers appear to be less interested in gift cards this year with only 45% planning to buy these items. Instead, apparel is at the top of the list (48%) as consumers say they want to give gifts with personal meaning.
Social media and mobile phones loom large as resources for this year's shoppers. About 27% of smartphone owners will use their devices for research. Nearly half, 44%, will turn to social media. As a result, marketers should pay close attention to their mobile and social strategies.
Deloitte research indicates that marketers should target their Black Friday messages to Gen Y shoppers. About 40% of these consumers plan to shop then. Gen Y shoppers will also be online on Cyber Monday with 37% planning to make purchases that day.[Source: Deloitte Annual Holiday Survey: Down Economy? Bah Humbug. Deloitte.com. 26 Oct. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2011]