Deloitte: Retailers Can Expect Jolly Holiday Shopping Season

Staff Report

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

For the 34th year, Deloitte commissioned a national survey of 4,410 consumers to better understand spending for the upcoming holiday season. Conducted online, Sept. 6-13, by an independent research company, the survey provides key insights into consumer behavior and what retailers can expect from shoppers as they tackle their holiday shopping.

Experiences lead the charge when it comes to holiday shopping

Consumers are expected to spend nearly $400 per household on social activities this holiday season, accounting for more than one-fourth of household holiday spending.

Approximately two-thirds of consumers (66%) will allocate spending to experiences.

More than half of surveyed consumers (59%) plan on dining out during the holiday season.

Key quote
"Every year respondents tell us that the most important factor is discounts. This year that tops out with not just promotions, but also free shipping. What is most fascinating is that we are also seeing an increase in the number of people who are using their phones not just to research products and discounts, but to ultimately make purchases. In fact, 70% of smartphone users said they will use their phone to make a purchase this holiday season."
-Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and U.S. leader, retail, wholesale and distribution

High spenders to account for a majority of total holiday spending

These high spenders (households spending more than $2,000) will likely make up 60% of total holiday spend and account for 20% of holiday shoppers.

Nearly 70% of high spenders will start shopping before Thanksgiving Day.

Promotions and price: Shoppers want free shipping and are willing to wait

Free shipping is more important to shoppers (85%) than fast shipping (15%).

Most of those who choose "fast" (68%) expect no more than 2 days.

The majority of those who opt for free shipping (67%) are willing to wait 3-7 days.

Shoppers and the economy

Most (78%) expect to spend the same or more than last year's holiday season, despite their less optimistic outlook for the economy in 2020.

Forty-four percent expect the economy to weaken next year, up from 27% compared to last year's survey.