Store pickup is in, Black Friday is out this holiday season


NEW YORK — A new holiday shopping survey reveals major disruptions in holiday shopping traditions, largely due to digital engagement.

Deloitte’s 30th annual holiday survey of consumer spending intentions and trends finds that some shopping traditions are losing their luster.

Key findings from the survey of more than 4,000 U.S. consumers include:

  • Shoppers plan to spend $1,440 across categories including gifts, socializing away from home, entertaining at home, non-gift clothing for family or self, home/holiday furnishings, and other holiday-related spending.

  • Nearly seven in 10 (69%) plan on "webrooming" – look at items online first, then go to a store to see the item before completing a purchase – jumping from 58% last year.  

  • Roughly half (52%) expect to engage in "showrooming" – going first to a store to look at an item, then search online for the best price before completing a purchase.

“While the macro spending signs are encouraging, something more profound is occurring that is drastically disrupting holiday retailing,” said Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution practice leader. “A major category shift is underway where shoppers have much more than gifts in their line of sight. For some, years of elongated promotions make the holidays seem like the right time to fill the kids' closets or update the home, and the variety of retail venues from pop-ups to boutiques is inspiring experimentation.”

  • Forty-three percent of shoppers expect to buy a product online and pick up the item from the store instead of having the item shipped to them – primarily to save on shipping charges (67%), to get the item faster (49%) and pick up other items on the same trip (35%).

  • More than half (52%) of surveyed consumers say they do not rely on Black Friday as much as they did in the past; 41% say the same of Cyber Monday, up five percentage points from last year.

  • Free shipping is most preferred retail offering this year with 72% of shoppers planning to take advantage of free shipping, followed by easy returns (55%) and price matching among 51%, up six percentage points from 2014.

Sides added: “Many of the moments that matter this holiday season will occur before shoppers ever set foot in a store. Getting the early promotions and engagement right in the digital channels are core to winning the in-store purchase and the shoppers who tend to spend more. It's also about customizing the offer. Since it's not just about gifts this year, retailers should make those offers fulfil shoppers' other needs. Additionally, the digital influence has conditioned shoppers to anticipate speed and convenience in the store trip, so the final moments also count. Associates that quickly connect a shopper to an item researched in advance or make the buy online/pick-up in store process run smoothly, for example, can create a positive and memorable service experience.”

For more information about Deloitte's 2015 Annual Holiday Survey, please read the full survey report by clicking here.

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