Holiday retail sales driven by confident shoppers with more to spend and buy
The average U.S. consumer is decidedly more confident heading into the holiday shopping season, which could greatly impact retailers’ success this year, according to a new study by Synchrony Financial—the nation’s largest provider of private label credit cards. According to the study, nearly have of those surveyed indicated that they are “more confident in their financial situation that last year (37 percent),” and another 48 percent plan to start their holiday shopping earlier this year.
Larger shopping lists and improved finances were cited by 32 percent of shoppers surveyed who plan to spend more this year, which is up from 21 percent in 2014. According to the survey, toys, games, electronics, apparel, shoes, and gift cards are the key gift-buying categories.
And while spending will be up, 53 percent of the surveys participants said that they plan to set a firm holiday budget, and 76 percent said that they “always” comparison show to ensure that they are getting the best price.
Other major findings among those who plan to spend more this year include:
- 39 percent said they expect to get the best deals on Black Friday
- 90 percent said they intend to shop on special sale days
- One-third of all respondents said they plan to start holiday shopping before Black Friday
- And 70 percent of all survey respondents said they consider online shopping to be easier than travelling to a physical store.
- The most important reasons for buying online, as opposed to in-store, include free shipping, price, and convenience
“In our survey, shoppers indicate they have more to spend and more to buy this season, influenced by their underlying confidence about their personal finances. This is similar to other insights we’ve gathered, showing shopper optimism is balanced with a spending plan and sales research to stretch dollars further and maximize discounts and rewards,” Sanjay Sidhwani, senior vice president of Marketing Analytics for Synchrony Financial, said in a statement. “We are forecasting a 3.6% rise in holiday retail sales based on analyzing multiple factors that influence holiday buying across segments.”