Shoppers to spend more of holiday budget in stores

Fifty-four percent of shoppers, who make less than $100,000 a year, plan to spend more of their total holiday budget in-store than those with higher incomes, 46 percent.

According to Deloitte's 29th annual holiday survey, a strong digital presence may actually push more consumers into physical stores and convert browsers into buyers. As many as 72 percent of respondents will use mobile for holiday shopping, but 58 percent are using the device to find store locations and 52 percent will use it to check prices.

Of those surveyed, 55 percent are shopping at malls this holiday season, but 28 percent will visit malls less this year than last. Why? The top three reasons are crowds, 49 percent; better prices elsewhere, 42 percent; and avoiding traffic, 36 percent.

And what do consumers dislike most about physical stores? Forty percent dislike long lines, 26 percent say there is too much traffic; and 25 percent say the malls don't carry the merchandise they want.

Those consumers who do shop in-store tend to be more loyal. About half of consumers who cannot find a product in-store will try and buy from the same retailer online or at another location.

Holiday perks that shoppers are looking forward to this year include free shipping, 68 percent; free returns, 52 percent; price matching, 45 percent; extended holiday hours, 35 percent; order online for pick up in-store, 34 percent; and free layaway, 16 percent.

"In-store shopping continues to be an important part of the traditional holiday shopping experience for many consumers," said Alison Paul, vice chairman and retail sector leader, Deloitte. "This holiday season, respondents indicated they will spend 52 percent of their holiday budgets in brick-and-mortar stores and only 40 percent online."

"Furthermore, respondents expect to spend on average 35 percent of their holiday budgets in local retail stores. For retailers, gaining a competitive edge depends on pulling multiple levers to encourage consumers to shop at one store over another. A satisfying in-store experience, an intuitive website, the right in-store innovations, informed store associates, the ability to influence purchases through mobile—all of these elements and more help distinguish successful retailers from the others."

For those shoppers who do plan to purchase online, prices are expected to hit their lowest on Thanksgiving Day, according to Adobe's 2014 Digital Index Online Shopping Forecast for this year's holiday season. Record online sales of $1.35 billion are expected, a 27 percent increase over last year's Thanksgiving sales.

For more:
-See this Deloitte press release

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Weaker holiday sales projected, except for certain retailers
Retailers add 15,200 jobs in September; holiday concerns persist
Retailers add 37,600 jobs in October as holiday hiring shifts into full gear

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