Accenture: Holiday gift purchases expected to average $718

Accenture’s annual Holiday Shopping Survey of consumers looking at spending and gift plans for this season has retailers’ ears buzzing. 25% of U.S. consumers plans to spend more on holiday shopping this year compared to 20% in 2013, and spending on holiday gifts is expected to average $718, according to the annual holiday shopping survey. The survey also took a closer look at shopping happening in-store vs. online, and a notable interest in mobile tools while shopping.

The report contains stats from a variety of areas including showrooming and webrooming habits; Black Friday and Thanksgiving shopping plans; what consumers are buying this year (including wearable technology); the continued hunt for discounts, concerns over shipping and delivery timeliness, and factors affecting spending decisions this year.


Trends highlighted by the survey:

Discount Retailers Prevail, Department Stores Coming up Strong

  • Discount retailers continue to be the top destination for shoppers this holiday season 71%
  • 58% of respondents said they will shop at online-only retailers, compared to 50% in 2013 and 44% in 2012
  • 47% of consumers plan to buy gifts at department stores this year

 The Holiday Shopping List

  •  Gift cards , apparel and toys top consumers’ holiday shopping lists this year.
  • In the electronics category, 13% of respondents plan to buy wearable technology such as fitness bands, 24% plan to buy home electronics such as a TV or Blu-ray player, 14% plan to buy smartphones and 13% plan to buy tablets.

More Trends on Online Shopping and Retailers’ Holiday Programs

  •  More than half of shoppers plan to spend 50% or more of their total holiday gift dollars online.
  • Free shipping is still the #1 incentive for buying holiday gifts online, followed by finding products that are discounted compared to in-store prices and avoiding the crowds and long check-out lines.
  • If a retailer sells products both online and in physical stores, consumers prefer to shop online in order to avoid the crowds and to shop around for the best deals; they prefer a physical store in order to touch and feel a product before they buy it.

 Thanksgiving and Black Friday Shopping Plans

  •  Of the 61% of consumers planning to shop in a physical store on Thanksgiving or Black Friday, the majority 56% are planning to go to three or more stores.
  •  38% percent of shoppers would shop in-store on Black Friday to take advantage of doorbuster deals.
  • 49% believe that the best deals of the season are on Thanksgiving, Black Friday or Cyber Monday.


Accenture conducted an online survey using a representative sample of 500 U.S. consumers in September 2014.

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