From our friends at The NPD Group:
Cyber week didn’t see the same growth levels as Thanksgiving week, but the signs of shifts in gifting continue as interest in tech products and the practicality of small appliances take over.
According to NPD’s 2018 Holiday Purchase Intentions Study, slightly fewer consumers planned to start their holiday shopping on Cyber Monday this year than last year, but more consumers planned to finish their shopping on this day. Given these shopping intentions, it’s not surprising that NPD’s U.S. weekly point-of-sale results for key general merchandise categories* reveal just a small uptick in dollar sales over the third week of November 2018 (week ending 12/1/18), which included Cyber Monday, compared to the same week in 2017.
Highlights from the week:
- Technology products were the dollar growth driver for the second week in a row, and the categories behind this growth continued to be tablets and stereo headphones.
- Small home appliances saw their third straight week of double-digit dollar gains, once again driven by cookers and specialty cleaning appliances (i.e. robotic vacuums).
“The shift in gifting is clear, with the interests in tech products and practical gifts like small appliances taking over, demonstrating the importance of newness and innovation,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry advisor. “December is gift time, and crunch time for some industries where consumers are spending on things they deem a better investment and more relevant. Traditional gifts have a long road ahead, paved with promotions, to holiday happiness.”
**Check out our latest press release below for more insight on how online and in store shopping are coming together. **
Port Washington, NY, December 12, 2018 — More than one in six holiday shoppers said they will use their mobile phone to buy gifts this season, a number that more than doubles among Millennial shoppers, according to this year’s “Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey” from The NPD Group. However, half of consumers say that simply going out shopping during the holidays puts them in the holiday spirit. This holiday season, retailers are doing more to combine the convenience of online shopping with the feeling of in-store shopping.
“We’re observing an abundance of ‘hands-free shopping’ at retail this holiday season, the result of increased free shipping offers, and the blending of in-store and online shopping capabilities,” said Marshal Cohen, chief industry advisor, The NPD Group. “By making purchases on their mobile device while in stores they can continue to shop without the hassle of lugging packages.”
The convenience of shopping online on a mobile device becomes more attractive to consumers with free shipping offers. This holiday season is the first one where shoppers ranked free shipping above overall value on the list of factors that will influence where they shop for holiday gifts. Retailers have acknowledged the consumer’s fondness for free shipping, with many adding this to the list of shopping perks they are offering holiday shoppers. Luxury and specialty brands, mass merchants, department stores, and pureplay e-commerce sites have all upped the free-shipping ante this holiday season.
Consumers are embracing today’s blended retail world, with six in 10 planning to holiday shop both online and in brick-and-mortar stores. At the end of last holiday season, nearly a quarter of shoppers told NPD that when they had difficulty finding what they planned to purchase, most often, they then searched for the product online via a mobile device*. Still, more than one in five consumers still say they will rely on in-store displays and signage to learn more about a product before making a holiday purchase this year, and almost 10 percent will look to sales associates for recommendations.
“Brick-and-mortar retailers are presented with a huge opportunity to better compete with the growing e-commerce world during the holiday season and in the year ahead,” added Cohen. “A blended in-store and online marketing approach, enhanced with customer service, brings shoppers into the store and preserves opportunities for critical impulse purchases.”
*Source: The NPD Group / December 2017 Omnibus
The NPD Group