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US online shopping to overtake brick-and-mortar for first time this holiday season

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today Sep 24, 2019
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According to a study conducted by OpenX and The Harris Poll, this US holiday shopping season will be the first in which online spending will outweigh purchases made in store, a shift driven by millennials and mobile shopping.


The increased popularity of mobile shopping will drive the growth of online spending this holiday season - Instagram: @westfieldcenturycity

 
The majority of shoppers surveyed by the study said that they intended to spend more on digital channels than in stores in holiday 2019.
 
One of the reasons behind this development is related to the growth of mobile shopping, with one in every five dollars expected to be spent via this channel this holiday season. Millennials proved to be particularly open to mobile shopping: 69% of this demographic said that they would use their phones to do their holiday shopping, a higher percentage than said they would use either desktops or laptops.

Interestingly, high-income consumers were found to be the least likely of all groups surveyed to go into a store to do their shopping. 50% of baby-boomers, on the other hand, said that they planned to split their shopping evenly between online and in-store.


Millennials are also playing an important role in driving holiday spending more generally this year and are planning to spend 15% more than the average customer and 25% more than baby boomers.
 
Indeed, these young consumers are 50% more likely to spend more during the upcoming holiday season than they did last year, with 46% saying that this was their intention, versus 30% of the US total.
 
Overall, shoppers are planning on spending an average of $892 during holiday 2019, a figure boosted by seemingly strong consumer confidence. Although survey participants were fairly evenly split as to whether the economy is doing better this year than last, 70% said that they are confident that the situation will improve next year.
 
The report’s advice for retailers is straightforward enough: look beyond TV advertising and let consumers shop where, when and how they want.
 
With 68% of those surveyed saying that they have previously gotten a gift idea because they saw an ad and 43% claiming that they’ve made purchases for the same reason, the power of advertising appears to be as strong as ever.
 
However, as the popularity of streaming services continues to grow, television campaigns may no longer be the best way to reach consumers, as 42% of shoppers said that they do not have cable TV or are thinking of ditching it next year.
 
On top of this, consumers increasingly expect to be able to shop on their own terms, where and whenever they feel like it, a trend demonstrated by the 69% of those surveyed who admitted to shopping while at work, and the 13% who claimed to do most of their shopping online after 11 PM.
 
“All indications are that the holiday season will be a healthy one for those retailers willing to embrace the important shifts we are seeing in when, where and how consumers are shopping,” explained OpenX Chief Brand Officer Dallas Lawrence in a release. “With the right people-based marketing strategy, that reaches the right shopper with the right campaign at the right time, the opportunity is greater than ever to find the right outcome whether it be in-store or online.”
 
It looks like retailers hoping to act on this advice and turn around their strategies for the holidays will have to be quick about it though, as according to OpenX’s report, 50% of consumers have already started their shopping for this season.

The data included in OpenX and The Harris Poll’s study was obtained by surveying 2,000 American consumers aged 18 and over in August 2019.

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