According to the annual survey just released by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, consumers will spend 4.1 percent more than last year during the Winter holidays. That’s great news for the floral industry, as low unemployment and higher take-home wages mean consumer confidence is at an all-time high, and they are ready to spend!
Consumers said they will spend an average of $1007.24 during the holidays, with 22 percent of that money spent on holiday flowers, food, decorations and greeting cards. Gifts, of course, will account for the majority of spending at 63 percent, with 15 percent used for other purchases so consumers can take advantage of the great promotions during this time of year.
When consumers were asked what were the most important factors in choosing a particular retailer, 71 percent of them said it was sales and discounts, but a full 60 percent focused on quality and selection, followed by free shipping at 47 percent, and a convenient location at 45 percent.
Here are a few other highlights from the survey:
Holiday Shopping Fever Starts NOW
Sixty percent of holiday shoppers said they would start browsing and buying holiday items in November, so now is the time to make sure your store is fully prepped with holiday promotions and decor. You may have already seen some increased customer traffic, however, since 21 percent of those surveyed said they planned to start in October, and 18 percent began in September or earlier. Of the early shoppers, 61 percent said they were trying to spread out their budgets while 47 percent wanted to avoid the crowds and stress of last-minute shopping.
For the 12th year in a row, gift cards remain the most popular items (60%), followed by clothing and accessories (53%), books/movies/music (37%), electronics (29%), home decor (23%), jewelry (22%), personal care or beauty items (19%), sporting goods (18%) and home improvement items (17%).
Location is Everything
It’s time to make sure your website is filled with holiday offerings and is easy to navigate: A full 55 percent of consumers will be shopping online this year. An equal amount will be shopping in department stores, while 51 percent will head to discount stores, 44 percent to grocery stores, 33 percent to clothing stores and 24 percent to electronics stores. Another important factor was that 50 percent of those shopping online say they will pick up their purchases in-store – another great opportunity for your shop to generate more business by offering easy ways to pick up their online orders.
Convenience is Key
Consumers also want the convenience of having their holiday items delivered to their home or office. Of the online shoppers who choose to have their purchases delivered, 94 percent of them will do so if free shipping is offered, while 16 percent will opt for expedited shipping and 11 percent will use same-day delivery. Offering free shipping at this time of year is a no-brainer, particularly if you want to generate new business that will continue into the new year and beyond.
With such high consumer confidence and spending plans, make sure your store is fully prepped and ready for all those holiday shoppers and your season will indeed be merry and bright!