How Holiday Shoppers Plan to Spend Their Money This Season

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With Halloween a week away, the holiday season will be quick to follow. Retailers already have started adding to their workforces, and shoppers will soon be lining malls in anticipation of these holiday sales. However, the growing trend of online shopping is looking to take a bite out of these retail sales, and more consumers are staying home rather than braving the crowds and lines.

It seems that shoppers will be spending more this season, and a growing share will be spent online, according to Deloitte’s 33rd annual holiday survey of consumer spending intentions and trends.

The survey found that for the second year in a row, consumers expect to spend a larger share of their budgets (57%) online than in-store (36%). This represents a drop of 10 percentage points for physical stores in the past four years.

The total holiday spending — including gifts, gift cards and non-gift spend — is expected to average $1,536 per household. Two-fifths ($611) of that budget will go toward experiences such as holiday entertaining and socializing outside of home, and about one-third ($525) will go toward gifts and gift cards, accounting for an average of 16 gifts, up 20% from $430 in 2017.

While more online shoppers plan to make purchases on their PCs (79%), the number buying on their phones jumped to 67% this year from 59% mobile shoppers in 2017.

Rod Sides, vice chair, Deloitte, and U.S. retail and distribution leader, commented:

Almost half the people we surveyed said they think the economy will improve, the highest number we’ve seen in years. Strong sentiment is a great start, but if you’re a retailer, it doesn’t guarantee a record season. Respondents indicate they’re shopping for a variety of reasons and occasions for themselves and others, and many shoppers remain uncertain about what they’ll buy or where they’ll buy it. Consumers are making several stops online and in the stores along the way to figure it out. Inspiration and influence are the notes retailers should try to hit this year to stand apart from their competitors.