Based on consumer surveys, the holiday season is shaping up to be more mobile-driven and social media-influenced than in years past.
According to PwC, the 2018 holiday shopping period is on track to be one of the strongest since 2005. More than eight in 10 (84%) US consumers say they will spend the same or more as last year for an average of $1,250. Interestingly, average holiday spend doesn't vary radically between the 36% of consumers that characterize themselves as spenders ($1,255) vs. the 64% who say they are savers ($1,248).
Multichannel consumers are thought to be more valuable than single-channel shoppers, and this was the case in the PwC study. Three-quarters of internet users plan to shop digitally and in store during the holidays with an average spend of $1,379. Online-only shoppers will spend less ($1,075) and those shopping in store exclusively will spend even less ($742).
Mobile will likely play a larger role this year, and more so with younger consumers. Nearly one-quarter (24%) said they would use mobile payment in-store, a 6% increase over 2017, and 16% plan to pay by a wearable device, up 16% year-over-year. Digitally, 39% said they would use "buy buttons" and 25% via shoppable photos to transact on smartphones.
Millennials (ages 23-36) and Gen Z (ages 17-22) had an even higher likelihood of using so-called buy buttons (57% vs. 56%) and shoppable photos (42% vs. 34%) during the holidays.