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Online Holiday Shopping on the Rise

Online Holiday Shopping on the Rise

U.S. consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping for their holiday season purchases, according to the NPD Group’s 2016 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey.

Online shoppers are also likely to spend more than those opting for brick-and-mortar locations.

U.S. consumers are increasingly turning to online shopping for their holiday season purchases, according to the NPD Group’s 2016 Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey.

According to the survey, 71 percent of consumers, and 79 percent of Millennials, plan to do some of their holiday shopping online this year.

“Online continues to change the game for retailers because it goes beyond convenience by bringing value and timing into the equation,” says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst, the NPD Group. “Brick-and-mortar retailers still have the benefit of drawing the majority of holiday shoppers with the in-store experience, but it is clear they are going to have to put their best foot forward in order to maintain a hold on holiday 2016 and future seasons.”

Furthermore, the survey found that consumers anticipate doing an average of 38 percent of their holiday shopping online in 2016. However, this number is higher among Millennials and Gen Xers, with each estimating they’ll do 42 percent of their shopping online.

Online shoppers are also expected to spend more with an average of $710 this season, roughly 60 percent more than the $440 consumers plan to spend at brick-and-mortar stores.

Consumers are also hitting the web to learn about the products they’re looking for. Among those who will research products this season, more than seven in 10 plan to do online research and nearly half expect they’ll look at consumer reviews. One in four anticipate using social media (43 percent for Gen Z and 38 percent for Millennials) while 14 percent of consumers plan on using mobile apps.

However, mobile apps won’t just be used for product research as 14 percent of U.S. shoppers, including 29 percent of Millennials, say they’ll use their mobile phones to buy gifts this year, up more than 130 percent from last year.

“We are at a point where retail must embrace the online shopping culture, not just try to battle it, especially during the critical holiday shopping season,” says Cohen. “There are opportunities to be had in the relationship between brick and click–maximizing the emotional component of shopping in-store, while utilizing the convenience and flexibility of shopping online will create a complete shopping experience for the consumer and a happy year-end for retail.”

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