Many research shops have issued their holiday shopping forecasts in recent weeks. Forecasters at the Wilkes University MBA program are no exception and expect sales to increase 3.5% this year. The Wilkes University outlook also contains key shopping pattern data that retailers may find helpful as they prepare their advertising budgets.
It’s getting close to that holiday time of the year – the season when marketers press emotional buttons to get consumers to purchase goods and services. Historically, retailers have prompted consumer spending by emphasizing traditional holiday themes. But that strategy may not be enough this year.
Online retailers were not hurt as much as traditional retailers during the Great Recession. And as the economy continues to recover, businesses in the online sector are looking for an improved holiday season this year. A recently published survey by Shop.org reinforces what similar surveys have found regarding shoppers and planned expenditures for 2010.
According to The NPD Group, Inc., NPD’s annual survey of consumers’ holiday spending intentions shows one in five (19%) consumers 'plan to buy fragrance’ as a gift this upcoming holiday season, a two point increase from 2008. Although prestige fragrance showed declines in the first nine-months of the year, the fourth quarter is typically the biggest quarter of the year for the category. A few bright spots in the prestige fragrance arena include fragrance juices* priced between $75 and $99.99 and juices priced over $100 and over, which grew 2% and 4% percent in dollars, respectively, from January to September 2009.
The Internet has clearly become a go-to holiday shopping resource. Despite the fact that 63% of consumers express concern over credit card security when making an online purchase, seven out of ten (69.3%) still plan to make an online holiday purchase, according to a recent study conducted by Burst Media. Consumers will also use the Internet to "window shop". The most popular online window-shopping activities are comparing different retailers to find the best price (56.8%), and comparing the features of different brands (55.3%).
The NPD Group, Inc. company recently released the results of its annual survey of consumers' holiday spending intentions. Thirty percent of consumers surveyed told NPD they ‘plan to spend less' this holiday, which is a four point increase over last year's results. What will motivate consumers to purchase this holiday? The survey results point to ‘value' as a primary motivator this year. Sixty-two percent of survey respondents stated value plays a big role in determining what and where they buy. The survey results show some upward movement in consumer purchasing intentions for accessories, music, and fragrances. Electronics and apparel are another bright spot.
According to the National Retail Federation's 2009 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, consumers are expected to spend an average of $56.31 on Halloween this year. Nearly one in three (29.6%) consumers say the state of the U.S. economy will impact their Halloween spending plans. According to analysts, the overriding theme for Americans' Halloween celebrations this year will be, "How creative can I be, and how little can I spend?'" The survey found consumers plan to spend an average of $20.75 on costumes, which includes children's and pets' costumes, $17.99 on candy, $14.54 on decorations and $3.02 on greeting cards.
In spite of the new trend of holiday in July shopping deals, early holiday sales are doing little to get Americans into the spirit of spending on gifts this year. Only about half of American adults (54%) plan to spend $300 or more on holiday gifts, a striking 10% decrease from what Americans last year said they typically spend, according to a survey commissioned by ING DIRECT.