According to PwC's 2019 Holiday Outlook report, 54% of survey respondents said they plan to shop online and 46% plan to shop in-store during the 2019 holiday season, a notable shift from 2015 when 58% of shoppers purchased goods in-store and 42% did so online.
The report finds that digital shopping behaviors differ slightly between generations. While 36% of the Greatest Generation and Baby Boomer shoppers plan to shop online via their personal computers, 22% of Gen X shoppers will shop via their personal computers, and 21% of millennials and Gen Z consumers will do the same. Eighteen percent of Gen X shoppers will shop on their mobile phones, and 22% of millennials and 19% of Gen Z consumers will do the same.
But the in-store shopping experience isn't dead among younger shoppers. PwC's research also found that 60% of young shoppers will go out of their way for a superior shopping experience.
PwC's research findings further indicate the importance of retailers investing in their e-commerce shopping experience. Whether you're trying to reach customers online or via stores, consumers will be doing a combination of both this holiday season.
This latest report builds on previous research indicating that younger shoppers, especially Generation Z, are looking to shop in stores for the holidays.
The research also reinforces Amazon's dominance in online searches. Over the past few years, consumers have increasingly begun their search for new products on Amazon, prior research from BloomReach and CPC Strategy have found. PwC's latest report found that 52% of shoppers get their gift inspiration while browsing Amazon, compared to 30% who receive inspiration from Google and 24% from social media.
However, the report also showed signs that Amazon's dominance is waning, particularly among Gen Z shoppers. Though competitors like Walmart and Target could lose customers to Amazon, according to previous research from Coresight, PwC's report found that 39% of shoppers said they start their product search on Amazon, compared to 45% in 2017.
Half of Gen Z shoppers check prices on Google, compared to 46% who use Amazon; 46% turn to Google for product information compared to 40% who use Amazon.