Webrooming: this year’s holiday shopping buzzword

An Accenture report on holiday shopping released in October found that 65 percent of online shoppers plan to “webroom” this holiday shopping season, that is, browse online and then head to a store to make their purchases.

Survey respondents say that avoiding shipping costs (47 percent) and being able to touch and feel a product before purchase (46 percent) were their primary motivations for shopping this way. Other results of the online survey of 500 U.S. consumers, which was conducted in September, are: 
47% said they will make purchases through their PCs or laptops.
19% said they will buy or research via tablets this holiday season, up from 15  percent last year.
18% said they will take those same actions on smartphones, compared with 15 percent last year.
42% said they will spend at least half of their holiday shopping dollars online. 
50% of survey respondents said they will shop at online-only retailers, compared with 44 percent in 2012.

Consumer spending trends by generation

One of the most interesting trends being tracked by the National Retail Federation is spending by generation. Although millennials - ages 18 to 30 - are the “hot” consumer segment right now, these individuals will be the smallest spenders this holiday season. Millenials plan to spend, on average, $601 on gifts, décor, cards, food, and flowers, compared with Gen-Xers - ages 31 to 48 ($847), baby boomers - ages 49 to 67 ($738), and members of the silent generation - 68 and over ($688). So while millennials present exciting long-term selling potential for retailers, Gen-Xers and boomers still represent 67 percent of total planned gift spending this holiday season – and are segments that retailers cannot afford to ignore this year.

Who’s giving gift cards this Christmas and where will they be spent?

It’s personal, it’s practical and it comes with a price tag that matches anyone’s budget. It’s a gift card, and this holiday season, eight in 10 shoppers will look to add these small gift items to their baskets, according to the National Retail Federation. An estimated $29.8 billion will be spent on the cards, and this is the seventh year in a row gift cards have topped holiday wish lists.

A little bird told them what to buy

In October, social media giant Twitter Inc. commissioned a survey from research firm DB5 that polled 2,000 U.S. holiday shoppers, more than half of whom use Twitter regularly. Here’s what that study found:

64% have bought a product because of something they saw on Twitter.
57% use Twitter to determine which stores to visit.
45% would rather take Twitter shopping with them than their spouses.
55% discuss gift ideas on Twitter.
62% tweet about the purchases they made.