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Good Chunk of Holiday Spending Will Be Online

Consumers Will Be Searching for Value

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Nielsen has shared some findings from research involving how American consumers intend to spend their money during the upcoming holiday season. About 42% expect to spend less.

Online retailers may not feel the hit as much as some brick and mortars, however. According to Nielsen, online retailers, as well as value retailers like dollar stores, discounters, and club stores will attract "the lion’s share" of holiday spending. The firm says consumers will want to minimize trips and search for the best values.

According to Nielsen’s findings, 86% of consumers expect to spend the same or less than lest year. There is a 7% increase in the "less" category, from last year. Still, Nielsen thinks holiday sales will rise 0.03%, accounting for $90 billion.

Holiday Spending

"Given everything the consumer has absorbed over the past 12 to 18 months, the fact that we expect this coming holiday season to be flat in dollars can be viewed as a modest positive," says James Russo, Vice President, Global Consumer Insights at the Nielsen Company.

"Americans have undergone a fundamental change in how they spend their money, and the days of stretching finances to make purchases not deemed as necessary are over, at least for the time being," adds Russo. "That said, our research has shown that consumers are looking forward to loosening their purse strings a bit, but only once they feel more confident about the state of the economy and their personal financial situation."

October approaches. Many consumers begin shopping well before Thanksgiving, and that means the time is close at hand to begin preparing. Online discounts and free shipping have historically been popular motivators for purchases. If you can swing these things, it will likely be in your best interest to do so.

It’s as good a time as any to get heavily involved in social network participation as well. If you’re a retailer, you’ll want to be out there conversing and staying in people’s minds as they search for gift ideas for their friends and families.

Nielsen says traditional items like apparel, toys and technology will be the most popular categories, but at restrained levels and primarily sold in "value" channels. They say products like cookware, kitchen items, bed and bath accessories and alcoholic beverages will also do well. Gift cards are one category where consumers plan to spend more this holiday season, followed by toys and apparel. Office supplies, pet stores, home improvement and drug retailers are not expected to so as well.

A couple of additional findings were that 20% of households said that they had no plans to entertain at home or away from home during the holidays, and spending cut-backs are being driven by all income groups.

Good Chunk of Holiday Spending Will Be Online
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