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Happier Holidays? Consumers Plan to Spend More During 2015 Holiday Season

The NPD Group released its 2015 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey, which showed that this year consumers are prepared to spend more in the coming holiday season.

The majority of consumers plan to maintain their holiday spending this year, but the number who plan on spending more has increased to 15 percent from 12 percent in 2014. Furthermore, the percentage who plan to spend less has decreased from 20 percent in 2014 to 16 percent this holiday season. The mean intended spend for shopping is $619, a five percent increase compared to what the company planned to spend at the same time in 2014.

Another factor in higher consumer spending is lower gas prices, and the majority of respondents plan to either save this extra money or spend it on themselves or others, as opposed to putting it toward bills and expenses. Twenty-two percent of people will spend the extra money on gifts for friends and family, and 21 percent will use the money to purchase something for themselves.

Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, Inc., said, “Consumers are ready to spend for the holidays, more so than in recent years.” He added, “However, manufacturers and retailers need to pay close attention to what is driving the consumer mindset, and deliver product that anticipates inevitable shifts in their thinking over the course of the season. Positive consumer perceptions combined with holiday promotions could drive early impulse purchases, but the market has to deliver enticing product that consumers want and need in order to build on that momentum and keep them spending.”

Research indicates that almost two-thirds of consumers will be conducting pre-purchase research. Most people will look to online research or consumer reviews, which provide quick, easy-access information from real users.

Cohen said, “Consumers are more complex, and marketers have more opportunities to reach them than ever before. Truly connecting with consumers requires interaction and omnipresence, emphasizing a complete experience that extends beyond channels, beyond traditional methods, and beyond the holiday season.”

The NPD Group’s information was derived from an online survey conducted in September 2015 to members of the organization’s online consumer panel. The survey was fielded to a US representative sample and completed by 3,620 individuals aged 18 and older.