A new study revealed that consumers are still turning to in-store shopping during the holiday season — more proof that it’s not all doom and gloom for brick-and-mortar.
According to coupon aggregator RetailMeNot, shoppers are more likely to make a purchase at physical stores this year, with 71% of surveyed individuals choosing big-box retailers like Walmart and Target and 50% of consumers planning to hit up department stores including Macy’s and Kohl’s.
The report — which took into account data from more than 1,000 respondents — noted that businesses with both online and physical footprints can expect to see a competitive advantage, adding that 20% of shoppers have already begun their holiday shopping this month or earlier.
Online retailers such as Amazon, however, also served as another preferred destination, with 54% of consumers indicating that they would shop online. In fact, Amazon Prime Day itself was said to have changed Christmas shopping habits, as some holiday spending has shifted from the all-important fourth-quarter period to Q3 due to the e-tailer’s shopping extravaganza in July. (RetailMeNot shared that 28% of Americans purchased a holiday item through Amazon on Prime Day.)
Additionally, only 26 days separate Thanksgiving from Christmas this year, versus 2018’s 32 days — a difference that ushers in the peak shopping season almost a full week earlier. Roughly a fifth of consumers reported starting their gift shopping in September or earlier, while respondents have already begun looking for deals (34%) and researching products (29%).
“We’ve seen gradual shifts in promotional strategies over the past several years that have elongated Black Friday and Cyber Monday into three full weeks of deals,” added senior director of retail insights Michelle Skupin. “We expect this trend to become more pronounced in 2019, given the compressed shopping time frame combined with slightly lower consumer spend in Q4.”
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