NEW YORK – Analysts say a healthy economy mixed with brimming consumer confidence should boost holiday spending.
Consumers say they plan to up their spending by 4 percent over 2016 results, with the average household putting $936 toward holiday shopping, according to Brand Keys Inc., a brand loyalty and customer engagement research consultancy.
The company’s president, Robert Passikoff, tells MediaPost News that Black Friday is no longer the official kickoff of the season because consumers are shopping earlier than in previous years. He adds that retailers have recognized shifts in the timing of shopping and will try to capitalize by kicking off Black Friday-like sales earlier.
Last year, 41 percent of consumers reported shopping before Black Friday. This year, that number is expected to reach 51 percent. And Super Saturday has overtaken Black Friday in actual sales, Passikoff says.
Cyber Monday also seems likely grow this year. A report from Adobe says online sales are expected to rise 16.5 percent over 2016 and reach $6.6 billion, making Cyber Monday 2017 the largest online shopping day in history. Online sales on Thanksgiving Day are expected to increase 15 percent to $2.8 billion.
Adobe predicts total online sales for the holiday season will hit $107.4 billion, a 13.8-percent jump. In-store retail is expected to grow 10 percent.
Large retailers (more than $100 million in annual revenue) will see higher order values and desktop conversion rates than smaller retailers (less than $10 million in annual revenue), Adobe says. But retailers are expected to have the mobile advantage, with a higher average conversion rate of 1.9 percent, by attracting more shoppers with an intent to buy.
Other findings from Adobe’s report include:
- For the first time, web traffic on smartphones and tablets is predicted to be higher than desktops, at 54 percent and 46 percent respectively.
- Consumers are expected to buy more items, at lower prices. Four out of five product categories measured show higher unit growth than revenue growth.
- Apple Air Pods, Sony PlayStation VR, as well as home assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, are expected to be big sellers.
- The sharpest discounts are expected to occur on Black Friday, with televisions (23.7 percent), tablets (23.6 percent), jewelry (12 percent), and appliances (17.7 percent) showing the largest price decreases.
Another study from Customer Growth Partner calls for above-consensus holiday spending growth of 4.3 percent year-over-year, to a record $663 billion, accelerating from 2016’s 3.5 percent. Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, says disposable income growth is the key catalyst driving retail, and incomes are rising.
“Holiday shoppers are buying close-to-need and focus relentlessly on value, but they have clearly begun to spend again,” Johnson writes. “And with a growing wealth effect due to stock market gains, luxury stores will enjoy a happy holiday – after two years of coal in their silk stockings.”