The holiday shopping season is upon us, and the trends for the season are emerging.
Retailers are certainly in the swing of things.
For instance, Walmart started its holiday shopping season early, citing fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The company said shoppers will be able to find deals on its website, like $25 off a Bounce Pro 7-foot My First Trampoline and $100 off a VIZIO 55-inch Class M-Series Quantum 4K Ultra HDR Smart TV. Walmart said it would debut new deals regularly as the season progresses, and is also offering free next-day delivery for the first time.
To make things easier for shoppers, Walmart is also introducing an online gift finder and will launch a digital toy catalog on Nov. 1. The retailer is also planning events based on popular culture, with Pokémon, Frozen and Star Wars on the roster.
To help reduce lines, Walmart will offer express checkout manned by employees with tablets. Aiming to attract more kids and parents to the store, the retailer is aiming to make the experience as enjoyable as possible.
Consumers are most concerned with getting good deals around the holiday season, according to a recent study by Deloitte. Purchasing decisions are mostly driven by promotions, per 81 percent of people surveyed. The study also showed that free shipping is more important than the speed at which an order arrives, according to 85 percent of consumers.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects a bump in sales for November and December, from somewhere between 3.8 and 4.2 percent. It also said “uncertainty over trade” could potentially harm sales.
That’s not all.
Millennials plan to spend more money this holiday season, and will use their mobile devices to do the majority of their shopping.
Discover’s annual Holiday Spending Survey polled Generation Z, millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers on their previous holiday shopping habits and upcoming plans to purchase. The results showed that 35 percent of millennials said they will spend more money during the holidays compared to last year, while 26 percent of Gen Z, 23 percent of Gen X and 16 percent of Baby Boomers also expect to open their wallets more often this season.
As for how much they’re willing to spend, 39 percent of millennials plan to fork over $750 or more on gifts, with 35 percent of Baby Boomers, 33 percent of Gen X and 11 percent of Gen Z expecting to spend the same amount. Almost half of the millennials polled said a boost in income is the reason they will be extra generous with gift-giving, while 49 percent said they simply have more people to buy for this year.
Seventy-three percent of millennials will use a mobile device to shop for gifts, while 58 percent of Gen X, 48 percent of Gen Z and 32 percent of baby boomers plan to shop via mobile. Credit cards are the favored payment type for the holiday season, a growing trend over the past few years. In fact, 42 percent of respondents in 2019 said they expect to use credit cards for most of their holiday gift purchases, compared to 38 percent in 2018 and 32 percent in 2017. For those consumers, 55 percent said they will mostly use credit cards to earn points and rewards.
The next few weeks will bring much more clarity on holiday shopping trends – which, in turn, could foreshadow retail developments in the new decade.