77% of holiday shoppers will spend the same or more money this year

Shoppers are ready to spend money this holiday season, as 77 percent reported they would shell out the same amount or more on gifts this year than last year. But many shoppers are still unsure of which retailer they will spend that holiday money at, according to a new PunchTab report on the 2014 shopping trends leading up to the holiday.

Of the 1,100 surveyed consumers, 58 percent are undecided or likely to spend 50 percent or less at the same stores as last year. What will influence what gifts shoppers purchase? Looking at all age groups—millennials, Baby Boomers, Generation X'ers—66 percent said friends and family will be the best resource for gift-buying decisions. Still 55 percent said browsing in person at stores or malls will influence purchasing decisions, followed by 42 percent who would follow recipients' wish lists and 40 percent who would browse brand websites.

More specifically, 77 percent of millennials were looking for recommendations from family and friends for gift buying advice. Especially on social networks. Nineteen percent of millennials would look to Facebook this holiday season, 14 percent to Pinterest and 7 percent to YouTube.

When will everyone shop? About 40 percent of consumers overall will start shopping in November. Some Baby Boomers, 22 percent, will start shopping in September or earlier. But 75 percent of millennials and Generation X'ers will wait until December.

A big driving factor in purchasing decisions is loyalty programs. Recent findings released by Colloquy and FanXchange reveal that loyalty programs can benefit retailers. Once enrolled, 43 percent of U.S. consumers have purchased more frequently because of reward offerings. According to PunchTab, about 80 percent of shoppers said deals or coupons are important or very important to purchase decisions. And about 25 percent of shoppers consider earning points in a loyalty program very or somewhat important.

So who stand to be the top retailers this holiday season? Consumers named Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Target (NYSE:TGT), Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Barnes and Noble (NYSE:BKS) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) as their go-to destinations.

According to another survey of consumers' expectations for the holiday season put out earlier this week, 90 percent of shoppers said they expect their experience to be consistent across all channels and devices. The SDL study of more than 3,000 consumers reflects the growing expectation of brand unity in an omnichannel retail environment, up 17 percent from last year.

For more:
-See this PunchTab press release

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