Report: Holiday shopping to take off early November

Dive Brief:

  • Holiday shopping and browsing is expected to take off the first week of November, according to a holiday report released by coupon site RetailMeNot on Tuesday. This year, the report forecasts that shoppers will want to see more in-store offers in home and garden, multi-category and health and beauty.

  • Last year on November 7, RetailMeNot saw a 21% uptick in shoppers searching for deals. Deal seeking remains top of mind in 2016, with more than 60% of consumers surveyed planning to shop sales and promotions, up from 51% in 2015.

  • Nearly three quarters of shoppers say they plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores this season, and half said that deals will determine which days they’ll head to stores. Mobile will drive the research to suss that out: The top mobile shopping days continue to coincide with the biggest in-store shopping days, with Black Friday taking the No. 1 spot, followed by the weekend before Christmas.

Dive Insight:

The take-home message to retailers is that shoppers are on the lookout early, often on their phones, and are expecting to be rewarded for diligent research with price breaks of some kind, RetailMeNot chief marketing officer of North America Marissa Tarleton said in a statement. "We continue to see mobile content drive more sales and foot traffic for brick-and-mortar stores," says Tarleton. "Retailers have a big opportunity to acquire new customers this holiday season via their mobile marketing efforts."

Holiday shoppers are on the lookout for deals, the report found: 46% said they’d take a full day hunting online for the best price, 26% said they would travel more than an hour to visit a store with a great deal and 23% said they plan to line up outside store doors before they open to get the best prices on the hottest products.

The hunt for deals also extends to free shipping. Women in particular prefer free shipping options, more than men do (35% vs. 26%), according to the report. Men, meanwhile, tend to seek out deals on specific products deals more than women do (21% vs. 14%), suggesting that women are more often in discovery mode. 

The report wraps up five takeaways for retailers this season: data provides a holistic view of shopping trends; the holidays are a marathon, not a sprint; category timing is everything; deal-seeking is up; and mobile is key.

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Filed Under: Consumer Trends
Top image credit: Flickr; Benson Kua