Will Consumers Flock to Stores or Online for Holiday Purchases? - eMarketer

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Will Consumers Flock to Stores or Online for Holiday Purchases?

Internet users will spend more on appliances compared to last year

December 7, 2015

As much as ecommerce has grown, this holiday season—like the rest of the year—consumers will do more of their shopping in-store than online, according to October 2015 research.

Holiday Spending Metrics According to US Internet Users, by Product Category, Oct 2015

Rocket Fuel and Qualtrics surveyed 600 adult internet users about their holiday shopping habits, including how they were going to decide what to buy and where to shop. Respondents said they plan to spend more of their holiday budget in retail stores than online in 11 out of the 15 categories measured.

Categories like home and garden, pet supplies, food and beverages, gift cards and clothing will see more in-store traction, while purchases of books, games and toys, electronics and automotive are expected to skew digital.

Interestingly, the largest projected change in expected spend was for appliances—an estimated 96% change vs. 2014. This might reflect the improving economy, with consumers making big-ticket purchases, as well as the early availability of new connected devices. The automotive category had the second-biggest gains in proposed spending—another big-ticket category.

US Holiday Season Retail Ecommerce Sales, by Shopping Period, 2014 & 2015 (billions and % change)

The food and beverage category, on the other hand, is expected to see a 36% decrease in holiday spending compared to last year.

Consumers have already been shopping this holiday season—both in-store and online during Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

According to November 2015 data from comScore, Thanksgiving Day ecommerce sales saw a 9% increase to $1.10 billion in 2015. And Black Friday saw even stronger ecommerce sales, $1.66 billion—up 10% compared to 2014.

eMarketer estimates that digital retail sales will rise by 13.9% during November and December this year, reaching $79.40 billion, while total retail sales increase 5.6% during the same period to $885.70 billion.

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