‘Tis the season for holiday forecasting, and the National Retail Federation predicts a strong finish to the year with a boost of nearly 5 percent in retail sales over 2017 for a total of close to $720 billion. And while millennials have been blamed for killing everything from diamonds to beer, their plans to ramp up spending may be responsible for retail growth in Q4.
So how can retail brands maximize sales?
Retail-focused digital marketing agency CPC Strategy surveyed 1500 consumers about their shopping plans, from how much they’ll spend to where they’ll look first. The 2018 U.S. Holiday Shopping Forecast uncovered insights that should shape every retail advertiser’s Q4 strategy—including a breakdown of how different ages and genders shop, how shoppers will browse and buy across devices, and how Amazon influences their purchase decisions.
What devices will you use to shop for gifts this year?
“Our study showed that 80 percent of holiday shoppers will start their hunt for gifts on Amazon this year,” said Rick Backus, CEO and cofounder of CPC Strategy, in a news release. “A lot of those respondents also said they’ll start shopping before Thanksgiving—meaning your customers might have already made their gift purchases long before you’ve launched your Q4 advertising strategy. The most successful brands and retailers will move their Q4 campaign timelines up, especially if they’re advertising on Amazon.”
If you are shopping online for gifts, what websites do you plan to use?
The results demonstrate Amazon’s increasing dominance during the holiday season
By comparison, 72 percent of respondents answered that they would start their search on Amazon in CPC Strategy’s 2017 US Holiday Shopper Forecast.
Another retailer with a sunny outlook this season is Walmart, with 57 percent of online shoppers planning on visiting the site for their holiday shopping. The likelihood of shopping at Walmart increases with age and gender—70 percent of 45-54-year-old women plan to shop at Walmart. This is consistent with a 2016 survey by Kantar Retail that revealed that the average Walmart shopper is a “50-year-old woman with an annual household income of $53,125.” It’s also hints at a successful holiday season for the discount big box retailer that’s been doubling down on efforts to compete with Amazon.
Other key findings of the report:
- 46 percent of shoppers are planning to shop both online and in store for gifts
- 43 percent of respondents plan to shop for gifts via mobile devices
- 40 percent of shoppers plan to buy their gifts before Thanksgiving
So what can brands learn from this research?
The biggest takeaway from this year’s study wasn’t just that consumers want to spend less; they’re getting smarter about how and where they spend. Considering the fact that 20 percent of shoppers are planning to spend less this year than they did last year, it’s important to be where they are, and to make their experience worthwhile.
Commissioned by CPC Strategy and conducted by Survata, the survey asked 1,500 online respondents ages 18-65 a series of questions, including how much shoppers plan to spend compared to the previous year, when and where they plan to shop, and what devices they’ll use to complete their purchases.