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AmEx: Holiday spending, mobile usage jumps this holiday season


It may only be the first week of November, but American shoppers are steadily crossing items off of their holiday shopping lists.


As of the end of September, one-third (33%) of consumers had already started their holiday shopping, up significantly from 25% in 2015. Further, they expect to spend an average of $908, an 8% increase from last year ($839 in 2015). Among affluent consumers, this threshold increases to an average of $1,513.


These details were revealed in the “American Express Spending and Saving Tracker,” a report that is based on responses from 1,540 adults in the U.S. population, with a minimum annual household income of $100,000.


“While consumers are spending more money on gifts this year, they are becoming savvier with how they spend their time shopping,” said Kartik Mani, executive VP of global consumer lending at American Express.


That said, a good portion of this spending will involve mobile devices. More than three in four Americans (76%) will use their mobile devices, whether browsing, comparing prices or viewing deals this holiday season. This is a jump from 58% in 2015. There has also been a significant increase (62%) in Americans planning to purchase and/or redeem e-gift cards on mobile devices this year (26% vs. 16% in 2015), the report said.


Despite mobile growth, virtually all consumers (94%) will turn to “traditional” e-commerce sites, whether they’re researching, comparing prices, looking for hard-to-find gifts, or making a purchase. In fact, over the past four years, about 60% of consumers have preferred to make their holiday gift purchases online, the study said. 


The “go to” places for online holiday shopping however, will be shopping networks, such as Amazon and eBay (65%), followed by superstores, like Target and Walmart (48%), which give consumers the convenience of “one-stop shopping” for everyone on their list, data revealed.


While holiday shopping has already commenced for some, Black Friday still remains a “shopping priority” among both retailers and consumers. Fifty-three percent (53%) of consumers plan to shop on Black Friday this year, up significantly from 45% in 2015 — the highest level of participation since the study’s inauguration in 2010. Meanwhile, 50% of consumers plan to shop on Cyber Monday, up slightly from last year (47%), the study said.  

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