About 73% of 1,000 U.S. consumers surveyed by Citi Retail Services said they plan to shop at brick-and-mortar stores this holiday season, but 57% also plan to shop online via their computers for gifts, and 42% said they will use mobile smartphones or tablets.
In addition, about 13% of those surveyed also plan to use voice-activated virtual assistants as part of their shopping process, but the percentage of voice shoppers was higher among certain demographics, with 22% of Gen Xers and 17% of millennials saying they would use their virtual assistants for holiday shopping.
Among those planning to shop online, 60% of millennials and 53% of Gen Xers said they will use laptops or computers to shop for gifts, while 55% of millennials and 48% of Gen Xers said they plan on using their mobile devices for holiday shopping, according to the study.
It's late 2018, and brick-and-mortar stores have not been vaporized from the landscape — people actually shop in them, and plan to keep doing so this holiday season. In fact, more retailers have become focused on refining in-store shopper experiences as a way to drive traffic into their stores this holiday season.
The Citi study also clearly shows how consumer shopping patterns have changed, and continue to change. The findings suggest holiday shoppers will be using a variety of different retail channels to buy their gifts.
Even a modest amount of voice-driven shopping via virtual assistant appears set to occur. That's notable, because despite the shopping capabilities these assistants have, it has not been clear that owners of virtual assistants have been using them that way.
That Gen Xers may lead the way in voice-driven shopping during the holidays might seem surprising, but that's in line with a recent study from Visa and PYMNTS.com, which found that young Gen Xers and older millennials were more likely to own more connected devices than other demographic segments.
Beyond the rise of omnichannel shopping, the study also details how heavily retailer loyalty and rewards programs are likely to figure into holiday shopping. Specifically, 84% of those surveyed said they would shop at a store where they have a rewards membership and 60% of rewards members suggested they had been saving up points to apply toward holiday gift purchases. So, regardless of whether shoppers show up in person or use an online, mobile or voice channel, the relationships they have with specific retailers will likely play a part in where they shop.