US consumers are expected to spend more money during this year’s holiday season than they did last year, according to Accenture’s Annual Holiday Shopping Survey, which spoke to 1500 shoppers across the United States. Americans will spend 658 US dollars on average this holiday season, compared to 632 dollars in 2017. The survey also pointed out that Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997) will spend almost four times as much as baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964): older Millennials are planning to spend an average of 779 US dollars this year.
The increase in spending can be attributed to American consumers’ growing confidence. According to Accenture, shoppers are about one-third less likely to be concerned with the economy than they were last year (15 percent, versus 23 percent). Consequently, fewer people are planning on using loyalty programs to save money on holiday shopping. In addition, the number of surveyors who said they were planning on buying all their gifts in the same place even if that meant spending more money rose from 25 percent to 32 percent.
The survey also revealed that American consumers are more likely to surprise their friends and family with “experiences” such as travel, dining out and concerts, rather than physical products such as clothes, toys and household appliances. The number of respondents who said they were planning on buying physical gifts dropped 11 percentage points, from 84 percent in 2017. The number of shoppers who will buy experience or service gifts increased 5 percentage points, to 49 percent.
Last but not least, Accenture’s study showed that social media is growing as a shopping platform. The percentage of surveyors planning to use social media sites for their holiday shopping went from 8 percent in 2017 to 15 percent this year. In addition, 14 percent of respondents said they check Instagram before purchasing gits for their loved ones.