Summer is not officially over, but millions of shoppers have already turned their attention to the holidays, and they plan to spend even more this year than last with projections showing a double digit increase across the board. According to new data from Rubicon Project’s second annual Holiday Consumer Pulse Poll, nearly one third of consumers and nearly half of parents began holiday shopping before Labor Day.
Americans plan to spend on average $1,175 this holiday season, showcasing a 12 percent jump over last year. Technology ($378) continues to be one of the largest spend areas and the biggest purchase category (36 percent) for those buying a big-ticket item. But, while overall spend and spend per child ($495) has gone up, consumers are slightly more likely to say they prefer buying lots of smaller items rather than one big-ticket item. Experiences, such as travel, sports events and shows, are the top intended spend areas with survey respondents indicating they will spend $440 on experiential gifts this season.
When it comes to where and when they’ll spend, the survey found that 73 percent of respondents plan to shop online this holiday season, and more than 1 in 3 plan to shop on mobile. A surprising 22 percent of shoppers (and 28% of millennials) do not plan to shop in-store at all this year. These online and mobile-only shoppers tend to be millennial males, and are most likely to be shopping for gift cards (64 percent), apparel/accessories (57 percent), toys (46 percent) and tech (37 percent).
As shoppers continue to do more of their shopping online, Cyber Monday appears to be on track to outpace Black Friday in popularity among consumers. Forty-seven percent of survey respondents say they plan to shop on Cyber Monday, compared to just 42 percent for Black Friday. Cyber Monday is especially popular among millennials and parents with 74 percent of both groups saying they love the annual online shopping event. Additionally, twenty-two percent of Americans have already started researching Cyber Monday deals as of August, up 10 percentage points from this time last year.
“This year’s survey shows that consumers are shopping earlier than ever, taking control of when, where and how they plan to spend billions of dollars on holiday gifts,” said Harry Patz, chief revenue officer at Rubicon Project. “With Americans shopping earlier and spending considerably more this year than last, retailers have a unique opportunity to target shoppers across a variety of media and platforms. The research shows that parents and millennials in particular will be two key drivers behind this year’s increase in holiday spend.”
See the full survey here.