The evidence continues to pile up that web shoppers will keep spending online this holiday shopping season.
But shoppers, both online and offline, do have limits, including how much they will spend and where they will spend it, according to new research from the International Council of Shopping Centers.
The survey of 1,007 consumers projects that about 204 million consumers (87%) will head to brick-and-mortar stores this holiday season. Meanwhile, three-quarters of respondents say they plan to make a purchase online and have the items shipped to them. Expected spending is evenly split between online and in-person shopping, with 41% of total expenditures expected to happen at a physical store, compared with 42% online, and 17% click and collect.
Consumers plan holiday spending differently
Consumers anticipate consolidating their purchases across fewer retailers this holiday season. They plan to purchase from an average of 2.4 different types of retailers, compared with 3.4 in 2022. Discount department stores remain the most popular stop for 63% of shoppers. Traditional department stores are the second-most popular destination (34%), followed by electronics stores (22%).
During those shopping trips, most consumers plan to pay with a debit (63%) or credit (50%) card. Nearly half (48%) expect to pay with cash, while 14% will leverage buy-now-pay-later options.
Gift cards remain the most popular category for purchases — an item that’s on the shopping list of 63% of respondents — followed by apparel and footwear (56%), and toys and games (49%). 45% of consumers plan to purchase food, like pre-packaged baskets and alcohol, while electronics and experiential purchases were cited by 41% and 22% of respondents, respectively.
79% of consumers plan to start shopping for the holidays earlier than they normally would. In fact, one in four already started their holiday shopping in August or earlier. Of the consumers who plan to shop earlier for the holidays, 51% do so for the early promotions.
“This year’s forecast shows the industry is balancing itself out after rapid growth over the last few years,” ICSC CEO Tom McGee.
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