NRF: 90 Percent of Shoppers Still Have Lists to Wrap Up

NRF: 90 Percent of Shoppers Still Have Lists to Wrap Up

According to the National Retail Federation’s final consumer holiday spending survey of the season, the average holiday shopper has completed 53.5 percent of their shopping, similar to the 52.9 percent seen this time last year. Approximately 10 percent of holiday shoppers say they are finished – or 22.6 million people; that means 90 percent of holiday shoppers still have gifts, food, décor and/or other holiday items to buy.

The biggest reason people say they have waited to shop? They are still trying to figure out what to buy: 44.8 percent said they are still weighing their choices between gifts. Additionally, 28.8 percent said they wait until mid to late December because their friends and family haven’t given them enough ideas as to what they want and 22 percent are waiting for the best deals on holiday merchandise. One in five (20.8 percent) admit they are simply just a procrastinator.

“While we witnessed an early start to the holiday shopping season and an extraordinary Thanksgiving weekend, some of the busiest shopping days of the year are still to come,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We expect retailers will be competitive on price and value options in the final stretch, including extended store hours and in-store events, as well as online deals and free shipping offers. Even an unseasonably warm winter cannot keep last-minute shoppers from putting off their holiday purchases anymore.”

When asked when they believe they will purchase their last gift, one-third (33.4 percent) said sometime before December 18, though 10.2 percent are planning to wait until December 23.

Gifts of experience big on millennials shopping list

For the first time, NRF asked holiday shoppers about their intentions to buy and preference to receive a gift of experience such as tickets to a sporting event, cheese of the month club or an adventure outing like whitewater rafting. The survey found that 22.2 percent are planning to give an experience-type gift and 36.5 percent would like to receive one. However, those numbers jump significantly for millennials. More than one-third of both 18-24 (36.1 percent) and 25-34 year olds (35.4 percent) are planning to give a gift of experience, and half say they’d like to receive one (55 percent of 18-24, 49.6 percent of 25-34 year olds.) Two in five (43.4 percent) 35-44 year olds would like to receive an experience gift.

And, while many will go the experience route, many stand by more traditional purchases. The survey found 50.8 percent said they have already bought clothing and accessories and 34.5 percent have already bought toys. Additionally, 33.5 percent have bought gift cards and 22.8 percent have bought electronic items.

“Giving the gift of experience is something anyone can enjoy and this holiday season, consumers don’t have to go far to find something perfect for the foodie, fashionista, thrill-seeker or sports enthusiast in their lives,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “With retailers quickly getting in on this trend by offering their customers ‘bundles’ for the perfect experience, it really is a win-win for consumers and retail companies this year to tout these unique gift ideas.”

Nearly half of holiday shoppers polled will head to a store the week after Christmas

For retailers and consumers alike, the holiday season doesn’t end on December 25. In fact, for many consumers the week after Christmas is more than just an opportunity to exchange that sweater from grandma. According to the survey, two-thirds (65.9 percent) of holiday shoppers said they are planning to shop – both browsing and buying – retailers’ after-Christmas sales. Specifically, 47.2 percent of shoppers said they would shop at a store and 43.1 percent will shop online that week. Nearly six in 10 millennials (18-24 year olds) will shop that week, both in stores (59.2 percent) and online (59.3 percent).

Gift cards likely to be saved for sales, promotions

NRF also asked consumers this year about their shopping intentions should they receive a gift card. The survey found most would likely watch for really good sales or promotions to maximize the value of their gift card (41.9 percent) and others say they will use their gift card as quickly as they can (19.7 percent). Another 19.1 percent said they would save their gift card for a rainy day or sometime when they feel the need to treat themselves.

Overall holiday shopping experience a plus so far

Consumers thus far this holiday season say they have had a positive shopping experience with retailers. According to the survey, 60.7 percent of shoppers say they have had either an excellent or very good shopping experience overall. Specifically, nearly three-quarters (73.9 percent) of 18-24 year olds say they have had either excellent or very good shopping experiences so far.

Mobile devices, tablets have big impact on how people shop

With just two weeks to go, millions of smartphone and tablet owners are still planning to use their go-to shopping aides to research gift ideas, compare prices, look up store information and in-store availability and redeem coupons at purchase. According to the survey, 35.4 percent of smartphone owners and 38.2 percent of tablet owners will use their devices to research products and compare prices. Another 19.8 percent of smartphone and 26.4 percent of tablet owners will actually purchase a holiday item with their devices. And15.8 percent of smartphone and 16.2 percent of tablet owners will look up in-store availability of out of select holiday items.