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Accenture survey results shed light on retail shopping trends for the 2014 holiday season.
Accenture conducted an online survey of 500 US consumers in September 2014. Based on their responses, it appears that US consumers are expected to increase their holiday spending this year, supported by a greater optimism about personal finances. Also, their enthusiasm for Black Friday shopping has reached its highest level in eight years. However, even though US consumers intend to spend more, holiday shoppers remain keenly focused on discounts and sales.
“The holiday shopping season is one of the most competitive times of the year for retailers, but they also have a big opportunity to drive sales and acquire new customers,” said Dave Richards, global managing director, Accenture’s Retail practice.
View the summary of the results in the infographic.
Read the news release in the Accenture Newsroom.
Amid signs of optimism about their personal finances, US consumers still want to make smart purchasing decisions when it comes to holiday shopping this year. Some highlights from this year’s survey include:
Growing use and influence of mobile and social channels while shopping. More than half of consumers surveyed (63 percent) will use a laptop or home computer to make purchases or assist in their holiday shopping. Additionally, 13 percent of respondents intend to use social networking sites to assist them in their holiday shopping.
Consumers plan ahead and will get an early jump on buying holiday gifts. The survey revealed 49 percent of consumers had already started, or planned to start, the majority of their shopping in September. One contributing factor could be that more consumers believe the best discounts of the season can be found before Thanksgiving and Black Friday.
More customers want a smooth holiday shopping experience. A growing number of consumers (71 percent) plan to participate in “webrooming” – browsing online and then going into a store to make their purchase. At the same time, more shoppers (68 percent) say they are likely to participate in “showrooming” – going into a physical store to see a product and then searching online for a better price and making their purchase online.
As the holiday shopping season approaches, retailers must be able to satisfy US consumers who, more than ever, want to shop on their terms and expect every step in the journey to be a seamless one, whether they are online, shopping in a store or using their phones.
The list of consumer expectations of how they should be able to shop, from finding the same prices and promotions in a store as they do online to buying online and returning to a store, is getting longer every day. Increasingly, holiday-season winners will be defined by their ability to deliver a seamless experience to the consumer.
October 17, 2014
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