What Consumers are Buying this Holiday Season

The holiday shopping season is upon us. With some of the largest shopping days of the year under our belt, retailers have gotten a taste of what consumers expect from them this year.

This consumer preference is evident as we look at the results from the Black Friday weekend, with online sales growing 17% over last year and a noticeable decline in in-store crowds.

Related: Meet the Winners and Losers of Black Friday 2017

However retailers shouldn’t focus on driving sales on one channel over the other to give consumers what they want, instead winning the holiday is as simple as looking at customer shopping lists. For many shoppers, they have made their lists early this year and know what they want to purchase. The challenge for retailers is figuring out what products make the list, and figuring out how to get customers across the finish line and completing the purchase.

We ran a recent study, asking consumers what they are looking to purchase this holiday season and what they will expect from the checkout experience during the biggest shopping days of the years. Here’s what we found.


Electronics will dominate

It should come as no surprise that the latest electronics will be the most shopped for gifts in 2017. Over 50% of customers, from every age demographic, expect to purchase electronics this holiday season. Smart TVs, laptops, cell phones, video game consoles, and other smart home products will be highly sought after by customers.

While the demand for electronics seems to increase year after year, as does the ticket prices on these products. Retailers in the electronics space have gotten smart and are creating new ways to give more of their customers more ways to pay. Electronics retailers like Adorama, are offering special financing through Adorama Credit, a program that gives customers the option to pay for their purchase with flexible payment options. As 70% of consumers will be influenced by the price of products this year, making products fall into customer budgets will be key in the electronics space.


A Shift in power in the smart phone market

In the hierarchy of smart phones, Apple has always sat above everyone else. This year however, that lead will be challenged will other brands like Samsung, HTC, and Google making headway in the cell phone market. These phones not only solve common pain points of Apple users by providing products that have access to unlimited data space, shatter proof designs, and long lasting batteries, but they also are affordable. HTC offers customers 0% APR for 24 months with flexible payments of $31 for month through HTC financing. Smart phone manufacturers know that making their products affordable is what will make them more attractive than their competitors this season.


Big ticket purchases in home improvement

This may come as a surprise to some, as there is a myth about millennials circling around that they are averse to buying homes. This is far from the truth. Expect consumers to look to spend more on home improvement products this year as they gear up to host family during the holidays, or gift each other home items.

In fact, this year home improvement and home goods tops the list, following electronics and clothing/jewelry, of what consumers will look to purchase during the holidays. 42% of Millennials will take to stores like Home Depot, Build.com, Menard’s, and Signature Hardware looking to buy this season.

Retailers like Build.com have zeroed in on this growing demographic and made their brand approachable and their customer experience stress-free for Millennials just beginning their home ownership journey and still needing a little guidance along the way.


Younger generations will look to gift experience

Traditional brick and mortar and ecommerce retailers may get the most out of the holiday shopping season, but that won’t rule out other consumer facing industries this year. In the midst of the customer experience obsession, 27% of Gen Z will look to gift experiences this season, which is more than any other generation.

Travel and trips, concert tickets, and restaurant vouchers, are just a few of the experience-oriented gifts that Gen Z will allocate some of their budget to. Airline brands, hotels and other entertainment services should prepare to cater to this younger generation of customers by focusing on what they care about most: competitive pricing (64%), discounts (61%), and special promotions (29%).

by Veronika Clough

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