More Spending, More Online Shopping and More Smartphone/Tablet Use Expected This Holiday Season

Each year the National Retail Federation conducts a survey with U.S. consumer about their anticipated holiday shopping behavior. This year, the three most important statistics consumer product companies and retailers should pay attention to are: consumers increasing spending on themselves, more consumers shopping online and increased use of smartphones and tablets to assist with holiday shopping.

1. Consumers Plan to Spend More on Themselves
This year the National Retail Federation’s 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey indicates consumers will spend less on holiday gifts, but plan to spend more on themselves. Holiday shoppers plan to spend an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal products, down slightly from last year’s $718.98.

However, the NRF is still forecasting an overall 2.8% growth in holiday sales. This increase is anticipated because shoppers are planning to spend an average of $130.43 during the holiday season to take advantage of discounts for themselves and other family members. This is up $112.20 from last year.

2. Almost 50% of Americans Expected to Shop Online
According to the survey, online retailers should be prepared for an increase in sales. Almost half of shoppers (46.7%) will buy online. That is up from 43.9% last year. Also, the average holiday shopper plans to conduct 36% of their shopping online, whether it is comparing prices, researching products or making a purchase.

Additionally, these online shoppers plan to spend 22% more than the average adult. Adults 25-34 are the most active age group of holiday online shoppers  This group expects to conduct 43.7% of their holiday shopping online.

3. More Than 50% of Smartphone and Tablet Owners will Use Devises to Shop
This is the first year the NRF and BIGresearch have asked shoppers about their intended use of smartphones and tablets . The results are not surprising.

Half (52.6%) of those who own a smartphone said they will use their device to help with holiday shopping:

• 31.0% will research products and/or compare prices
• 14.1% will purchase products
• 17.3% will redeem coupons
• 15.6% will use apps to research or purchase items
• 25.1% will look up a retailer’s information such as store hours and location

Tablet owners are even more likely to use their device to aid in their holiday shopping:
• 70.5% will research and shop using their tablet
• 50.8% will research products and/or compare prices
• 34.8% will actually make a purchase with their device
• 21.5% will redeem coupons
• 33.8% will look up retailer information
• 21% will use apps to research items or purchase products

The NRF 2011 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 8,585 consumers and was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch October 4-11, 2011. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.0 percent.

Jennifer Manocchio


After starting her career with Edelman in Chicago, Jennifer joined Sweeney and quickly established herself as an exceptional industry innovator. In 2004, she opened Sweeney’s first full-service office outside of Cleveland and quickly rose through the ranks to become agency president. Jen leads by example and without fear. She has been critical to agency growth throughout the past decade and continues to lead the agency into the future.