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NRF Projects Huge Digital Holiday Sales

Come holiday season, American consumers will spend more than they ever have, the National Retail Federation (NRF) claims.

With Christmas and Hanukkah just around the corner, an average American shopper is projected to spend about $805.65 on gifts, decorations and food items. The average spending on gifts for family members is also expected to rise to $462.95 from the $458.75 that was reported last year.

"We continue to see positive momentum in retail sales growth, giving us reason to believe consumers will show up this holiday season as they look to take advantage of all of retailers’ promotional offerings,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “In an effort to attract all shoppers — from the extremely price-sensitive to the online millennial — retailers will be offering exclusive incentives, low prices, price matching, top toys and everyone’s favorite: free shipping and buy online/pick up in store offers."

The survey, which polled 7,276 consumers earlier this month, found more consumers planning to browse and shop online compared to last year. Over 46.1 percent of consumers are projected to buy online, which is up from 44.4 percent last year, according to NRF.

Among the surveyed base, millennial shoppers were found to be most likely to buy online and use fast shipping options for instant gratification. About 16.7 percent of 18- to 24-year-old shoppers and 15.9 percent of 25- to 34-year-old shoppers said they would use a same-day delivery option for buying gifts and items of personal use. A mere 7.8 percent of shoppers in other age groups said they would use same-day delivery options.

"The surprise factor isn’t the numbers surrounding millennials and their planned use of retailers’ innovative digital offerings, it’s the power that this cohort of adults has when it comes to influencing retailers to speak their language,” said Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Young adults and millennials are incredibly savvy when it comes to finding the right gift at the right price at the right place."

The survey also analyzed top spending categories, and gift cards emerged as the top item of choice for the ninth year in a row. Nearly six in 10 (58.8 percent) consumers said they would like to receive gift cards as a gift, closely followed by a 52.2 percent wide consumer base preferring clothing accessories.

And while consumers plan on spending more money this year, they plan on putting more thought and research into it. A record high 37.9 percent of shoppers plan on using their smartphones to research products while buying, and 28.4 percent plan on using their devices to interact with the store.

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