Holiday shopping begins far before December and Black Friday.

Last year, 25% of shoppers began gift shopping before Halloween. Black Friday promotions in 2014 ran throughout the month of November, and the same will most likely be true for this year.

A quarter of consumers expect to spend between $501 and $1000 this season; the second largest pool of shoppers has a budget ranging from $401 to $500. Although television and email are expected to be the two largest influences on consumer holiday spending, almost 75% of shoppers will make use of coupons received by mail.

According to Google, 78% of holiday shoppers in 2014 used the Internet to research holiday gifts. This statistic is expected to rise, with the Research-Online-Purchase-Offline trend continuing. In 2010, shoppers used an average of five sources to research purchases; in the last five years, the number of sources has more than doubled – reaching an average of 12 sources last year.

Almost $1 trillion, a third of retail sales in 2014, were influenced by purchase-related mobile searches. Similarly, mobile traffic and engagement will continue to increase as the month of December and Christmas approaches.

E-commerce and online shopping websites need to be prepared to handle large amounts of traffic. Certain days, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are sure to attract more consumers than average. Impulse-buys are also an important component of holiday shopping – especially when factored with the amount of shopping constantly taking place on mobile devices.

The takeaway: Retailers need to be ready for savvy, knowledgeable shoppers. We want to help brands and retailers prepare for the upcoming holiday season, so look out for a related eBook from GoSpotCheck coming soon!

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