More than three-quarters (77 percent) of consumers are planning to do at least some of their holiday shopping online, according to this year’s “Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey” from The NPD Group. As a result, retailers will have to blend retailing, leveraging both online and physical stores to capture the attention and holiday spending of consumers.
“The traditional division between online and in-store retailing continues to shift and blur,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “Traditional store retailers are upping their online games these days, while they are also finding ways to drive traffic to stores with improved efficiency, more entertaining shopping experiences, and better value. Online retailers are also finding ways to blur the retail divide in their own ways, offering lower prices and shipping options that get products to consumers faster than ever.”
Not surprisingly, Amazon and other primarily online retailers top the list of anticipated shopping destinations; however, brick-and-mortar retailers are emerging as major online players this year. More than two-thirds (70 percent) of consumers plan to shop at online-only retailers over the holidays, followed by 42 percent who will shop offline at mass-merchants and discount stores, 24 percent at national chains, and 23 percent at department stores. Six out of ten consumers plan to shop both online and in brick-and-mortar stores this holiday season, an increase of 3 percentage points since 2017.
Online shopping intent has risen 4 percentage points from last year and 6 percentage points compared to 2016. Online shoppers anticipate spending an average of $748 this holiday season, roughly 50 percent more than the $492 their brick-and-mortar-only counterparts are planning to spend. Additionally, despite the fact that one in six (17 percent) have had a package stolen in the past, the majority of online shoppers still plan to have packages delivered and left outside of their homes.
When it comes to holiday shopping research, online retailers, especially Amazon, play a major role. According to the study, more than half of consumer anticipate using Amazon.com, followed by consumer reviews and search engines for product research. “Where shoppers make their buying decisions is a critical step in the holiday shopping process,” Marshal said. “Product research increasingly happens online first at major shopping sites and on social media, these days. TV, magazines and catalogs are far less important than they once were.”