7 Holiday Shopping Trends

— 11/23/2016

E-commerce retailers stand to benefit from shoppers' continued affinity for online shopping, according to Nielsen's 2016 holiday trend report. Consumers across all generations are spending more online, however Millennials are leading the way with 25% planning to increase their online expenditures this holiday season. Overall, 19% of U.S. shoppers are planning to spend more online, up from 17% in 2015.

For the 2016 holiday season, Nielsen worked to uncover the top shopping trends.  The below insights are derived from a Nielsen survey of 2,037 U.S. adults aged 18+ online between Nov. 2 and 4, 2016, by The Harris Poll.

  • Black Friday: 54% of U.S. consumers are planning to shop on Black Friday, up from 50% in 2015. That said, the weight of Black Friday deals continues to shift beyond a one-day-event.  Digitally savvy consumers are looking for deals on a daily basis.
    • Black Friday Categories On The Rise: This year, shoppers are planning to spend more on pet gifts (30%), jewelry (29%) and cookware (29%)  than they did in 2015. Traditional categories such as apparel, consumer electronics, video games, toys and gift cards remain at the top of shopping lists for Black Friday.
    • Department and dollar stores are set to see the biggest rise in shoppers compared to last year, with 59% of consumers planning to shop in department stores and 21% in dollar stores, increases of 2% and 3% respectively.
  • Cyber Monday: This year, more consumers plan to shop on Cyber Monday (63% vs. 60% in 2015).
  • Mobile commerce is making large gains in 2016, with 50% of consumers planning to use their phones to shop on Cyber Monday, up from 39% in 2015.
  • Optimism: Millennials lead all generations in spending optimism, with 12% planning to spend more, followed by Generation X at 8%, Boomers 6% and the Greatest Generation planning on 4% increase in spending.
  • Ready to shop: Millennials also lead consumers who are shopping earlier with 30% having already started, followed by Generation X (23%), Boomers (22%) and Greatest Generation (16%).
  • Spending More: African-Americans lead increased spending, with 15% planning to spend more, up from 14% in 2015, while the total population only has 9% planning to spend more.
  • More Food: Multicultural households are leading the push towards food as holiday gifts, with 19% of African Americans, 14% of Asian Americans, 13% of Hispanic Americans and 8% of Non-Hispanic white consumers planning to spend 8% more on food as a gift.
  • Cookware as Gifts: Multicultural households also dominate shoppers planning to spend more on cookware as gifts: 8% of African-Americans, 7% of Asian-Americans and 6% of Hispanic Americans anticipate spending more on cookware gifts, compared to the average population at 5%.
The winning strategy will be to get digital right, according to Nielsen In today's digital landscape, it's no longer just about promotions, it's about effectively engaging with the omnichannel consumer.


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