A string of recent data suggests that online retail is going to eat into brick-and-mortar sales faster than ever this holiday season.
The latest evidence: An October survey of nearly 7,350 consumers conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics for the National Retail Federation further found that, for the first time in the survey’s history, online topped all brick-and-mortar destinations as the channel where most consumers said they plan to buy holiday items. In percentage terms, nearly 59% of consumers said they plan to do their holiday shopping online this year, up from 56.5% last year.
In second place was department stores, cited by 56.6% of consumers. In a potentially worrying sign for discount stores, 54.2% of consumers said they plan to do holiday shopping there, ranking those types of retailers in third place, down from 55.7% last year, and well below a peak of 77.1% in 2004, the survey data, released Friday, showed.
Meanwhile, 38.2% of those in the NRF survey said they plan more than half of their holiday shopping online, up from 35.4% last year and just 15.6% 10 years earlier, the NRF survey showed.
The survey echoes results of a recent NPD survey of nearly 3,800 consumers that found that online shoppers said they plan to spend an average of $793 this holiday season, 70% more than the $467 brick-and-mortar-only shoppers expect to spend.
And a separate Nielsen survey released Thursday showed that 85% of US consumers plan to buy holiday gifts online, with 20% of those saying they will spend more there than before. Supercenters/mass merchandisers/discounters shared the second spot with department stores, with each cited by 82% of consumers in the Nielsen study.