It may be election time, but retailers are preparing for the high flux of holiday shopping ahead.
According to the National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey, more than 25 percent of consumers said the election will impact their holiday season purchases. Due to the uncertainty of election results, 43 percent of consumers reported they will be more cautious with their holiday shopping budgets.
“Retailers should prepare for a rush of consumers in the weeks following the presidential election as they get more economic and political certainty and are looking to take advantage of promotions and deals that are too good to pass up for their friends, family and even themselves,” NRF CEO and president Matthew Shay said.
Although consumers plan to spend, on average, $935.58 for holiday shopping purchases this year *slightly below the average holiday budget for 2015 of $952.58), 87 percent of consumers could be persuaded to spend an extra $25 this holiday season if retailers offer good promotions, personalized gift options and seamless omnichannel services, such as free shipping.
Even though the election may keep shoppers on their toes, more plan on spending a great amount of their holiday budgets on themselves. Fifty-eight percent of consumers will spend an average of $139.61 on themselves for the holidays, which is up 4 percent from 2015’s $133.74 and is the second-highest level of personal spending reported in the survey’s history.
“Many shoppers are taking the approach of ‘one for you, two for me’ this holiday season,” Shay said. “Retailers are preparing by offering a wide array of merchandise and promotions—items shoppers want to give as great gifts at prices so good they want to buy for themselves too.”
For other holiday season purchases, consumers said they will spend $588.90 on presents for loved ones and $207. 07 for decorations, food, flowers and greeting cards.
To buy gifts for themselves and others, consumers will shop around at many channels this year. Shoppers will split themselves almost evenly between three popular destinations, department stores (57 percent), online (57 percent) and off-price stores (56 percent). Thirty-four percent of consumers will also shop for presents at clothing stores.
Seamless omnichannel services will also be favored by consumers during the holiday season. Ninety-three percent of online shoppers will take advantage of free shipping and other easy purchasing processes, including buy online, pick up in store or ship-to-store (47 percent). Furthermore, 17 percent of online shoppers will utilize expedited shipping and 10 percent will use same-day delivery.
In purchasing categories, gift cards remain the most popular present (61 percent) and clothing/accessories follow in second place, with 54 percent of consumers that said they will buy apparel, footwear and bags for themselves and loved ones this holiday season.