Holiday shoppers flock to stores with a key goal in mind: finding the perfect presents for their family, friends, and colleagues. This year, consumers are eager to find the best deals, with 60% planning to compare prices online before purchasing, according to a TD Bank survey. Most plan to pay out of pocket: The research found that 66% of consumers don’t plan to finance any of their holiday spending.
TD’s survey of 1,000 Americans found that the average consumer will spend $530 on holiday shopping this year, with the top gift categories being gift cards (28%), technology/gadgets (25%), and clothes (19%).
Show me the (rewards) money
Despite the potential to earn rewards when shopping with a credit card, many Americans plan to shop with a debit card (36%). Fewer will use a credit card (34%), check (17%), store branded credit card (7%), and in-store financing options (4%). Other financing findings of the survey:
Today’s shoppers are more savvy, with higher expectations than ever—they’re comparison shopping, engaging in retail loyalty programs, searching for discount and coupon codes, and taking advantage of financing programs that allow them to make budget-friendly payments over time.” —Matt Boss, head of credit cards and unsecured lending at TD Bank
- Those who plan to finance all or some of their holiday shopping will do so with a bank-offered credit card (71%), a store credit card (57%), or a store-backed payment plan (39%).
- 96% of Americans who financed holiday shopping in the past paid it off within a year, including 33% who paid it off immediately and 24% who paid it off within the first month after making a purchase.
- Respondents were most likely to pursue financing for their holiday shopping if doing so offered them significant savings (61%).
“Today’s shoppers are more savvy, with higher expectations than ever—they’re comparison shopping, engaging in retail loyalty programs, searching for discount and coupon codes, and taking advantage of financing programs that allow them to make budget-friendly payments over time,” says Matt Boss, head of credit cards and unsecured lending at TD Bank. “We also know that they’re leveraging credit cards to earn rewards for their purchases. For retailers who offer consumers the option to complete a significant portion of their shopping in one place, this is a smart strategy to appeal to penny-wise shoppers who like to earn some dollars back for their spending.”
Have yourself a merry little shopping experience
In a world with an infinite number of options, today’s holiday shoppers are brand loyal, and value variety and customization over anything else. That said, Millennials are more likely than Gen-X to stay loyal to the brands they favor year-round during holiday time (45% vs. 21%, respectively). The two most important features when deciding where to shop were variety of products (46%) and discounts offered (41%). The research also found that:
- Holiday shoppers will take advantage of various retailers, including online (80%), big box stores (72%), and local shops (53%).
- The trends most likely to pique shoppers’ interests are customized coupons (37%), discounts via geotargeting (35%), and enhanced shopping atmospheres (22%).
- 85 percent of Americans are somewhat or completely loyal to the brands they shop all year around during the holidays.
- 39% of shoppers have purchased an item from social media advertising.
“Rewards programs help increase customer engagement—who doesn’t like receiving bonus incentives or perks for being a loyal customer?” continues Boss. “Further to that, our data shows that holiday shoppers have financed responsibly in the past, which has led retailers to offer increasingly innovative financing options that provide consumers with an enticing combination of savings and rewards on their holiday purchases. It’s a win-win from the customer point of view. Rewards programs enhance a customer’s overall experience and increase their likelihood to shop at a retailer again and again, long after the holiday shopping season has ended.”