Deloitte's 2015 holiday survey
Embracing retail disruption
Deloitte’s 30th annual holiday survey polled 4,009 consumers across United States to explore their shopping and spending intentions for the 2015 holiday season. Good news for holiday retail! Personal income growth may be stubbornly flat, but consumers are enthusiastic about the upcoming shopping season. Our 30th annual consumer survey suggests what customers are looking for—and what retailers can do to engage them.
Mixed signals, conflicting forces
The consensus from various retail holiday forecasts is that, while retailers will likely see a modest increase in sales for this year’s November–January holiday season, gains will be weaker than last year’s 5.2 percent year-over-year rise. Specifically, Deloitte’s annual holiday forecast suggests holiday sales will increase 3.5–4 percent, with digitally influenced sales affecting 64 percent, or $434 billion, of in-store retail sales.1 Similarly, the National Retail Federation (NRF) is expecting a 3.7 percent increase in holiday sales, representing $630.5 billion in sales. NRF is also predicting online sales growth between 6 and 8 percent, to as much as $105 billion.2 Deloitte economists are attributing the uptick in sales to an improving labor market, increasing home values, and lower gas prices—even as, for many, personal income growth remains flat.
The key findings of the research are as follows:
· Consumers anticipate increasing their spending this holiday season by 12.5 percent; our respondents planned to spend an average of $1,462 in 2015, up from $1,299 in 2014
· 50% of consumers say they will be buying for themselves when shopping for others
· 44% of consumers have a specific budget for holiday spending
· The categories where consumers plan the most significant spending increases are home holiday furnishings (up 33 percent from last year) and non-gift clothing for family or self (up 26 percent)
· Gift recipients shouldn’t expect too many surprises under the tree- with the possible exception of handmade items or subscription gifts
· 82% of the consumers will go online for shopping research before going to an actual store
· Number 1 reason to shop in physical stores is the ability to see and touch the product
· Number 1 reason to avoid physical stores is long lines
· 30% of consumers plan to shop at non-traditional venues (festivals, fairs, pop-up shops, invitation only events)
· 72% of the shoppers expect to take advantage of free shipping