Thanksgiving is approaching and retailers are in full holiday mode. A slew of holiday-themed research has already been released, with many more studies no doubt on their way. This article, which will be continually updated throughout the holiday season, highlights key points from the research being released surrounding what looks to potentially be a modest spending season.
(All of the latest updates to the data will be bolded in the category lists below. Readers of the original article can skip ahead to the lists.)
The NRF itself is forecasting “marginal gains” for this season, projecting 3.9% year-over-year growth in retail sales to $602.1 billion (with online spending growing by 13-15% up to a potential $82 billion). While the overall increase is deemed “marginal,” it would still beat last year’s 3.5% growth, as well as the 10-year average of 3.3%.
The average holiday shopper is expected to spend $737.95 on gifts this year, per a separate NRF survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, about 2% less than the $752.24 they spent last year. Per-person spending estimates are down because consumers are looking to trim their “self-gifting” budgets this year: 57% will take advantage of sales and other discounts to buy themselves gifts this year, down from 59% last year. Additionally, “self-gifters” will spend an average of $129.62 on themselves, down from last year’s high of $140.43.
The NRF is a good authority, obviously, on spending trends for the holiday season (especially with the consistency afforded by its multi-year surveys and forecasts). But there are plenty of other data sources getting into the act, and some are much more bullish on the prospects for the upcoming season.
The following category lists highlight key data points along with the research source. Links to each piece of research are available at the bottom of this article (denoted with dates if the source has issued more than one piece of research).
(Note: The vast swathe of survey-driven research cited below means – not too surprisingly – that some very different conclusions are presented. This does not render the individual research results useless, but rather necessitates a broader trend-related perspective. That’s especially the case when looking at particular dollar amounts or percentages, which are included, but are probably less important than the year-over-year trends, where available.)
Experian Marketing Services, 8/27.
Bing Ads, 10/18.
Unity Marketing, 10/23.
MarketLive/e-tailing group, 10/23.
Wanderful Media, 10/28.
BDO USA, 11/4.
BSO USA, 11/18.
Parks Associates, 11/5.
Parks Associates, 11/19.
Adobe Digital Index, 11/5.
Burst Media, 11/5.
The Integer Group, M/A/R/C Research, 11/11.
Brand Keys, 11/14.
Topics: Brand Loyalty & Purchase Habits, Customer Service & Experience, Direct Mail, Display & Rich Media, Email, Free-Standing Inserts & Circulars, Marketing Budgets, Men, Mobile Phone, Paid Search, Promotions, Coupons & Co-op, Retail & E-Commerce, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Tablet, Traditional, TV Advertising, Women
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