45+ Holiday Shopping Statistics to Inspire Your Marketing

Posted by Chelsea Hejny on 22 Oct 2014 / 0 Comment

One of the first things I do before I start writing about a topic or idea is search for supporting statistics. Why? Stats are a great way to support the positions you take and the advice you share.

When I started writing ShortStack’s holiday eBook (be the first to get it here!), my process was no different. I immediately started hunting for the most up-to-date holiday shopping statistics. I quickly found my way to the National Retail Federation’s (NRF) website. To date, they are by far the best source for holiday statistics I’ve found.

Every year, the NRF releases a holiday guide, in tandem with their annual holiday forecast, which includes the most relevant data about historical holiday sales, employment and consumer trends. These resources, along with the holiday destination they call “Holiday Headquarters,” are amazing troves of information.

This year, after coming across so great many holiday statistics I decided to create this blog post to share the ones I found most insightful.

Take a look at them below!  

Shopping Behavior and Spending Stats 

• 28% of consumers plan to spend more than 50% of their total holiday shopping budgets November 28 – December 1 (aka Black Friday weekend).

• Consumers will spend an average of $ 459.87 on gifts for their family, up 6.5% from $ 432.00 last year, and $ 80.00 on gifts for friends, up from $ 75.00 last year.

• A typical person celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa or Hanukkah will spend $ 804.42, up nearly 5% over last year’s actual $ 767.27.• Those celebrating the holidays will spend more on gifts for their co-workers ($ 26.23 vs. $ 24.52 in 2013), and others such as their babysitter and even their pets ($ 30.43 vs. $ 26.65).

• 40.9% of shoppers will begin spending in November, up slightly from 38.8% last year; 15.5% will begin in the first two weeks of December.

• 42.3% of those polled say free shipping/shipping promotions are important factors.

• Consumers say that helpful, knowledgeable customer service (30.3%), convenient locations (47.9%), low prices (41.2%) and sales or price discounts (74.7%) also play a role in their decision to shop at a particular retailer.


• 6 in 10 say quality of merchandise (60.9%) and selection of merchandise (59.4%) are important factors in their decision to shop somewhere.

• For the eighth year in a row gift cards are the most requested gift item among those celebrating the holidays.

• 62% say they’d most like to receive a gift card, followed by clothing (52.5%), books, CDs, DVDs or video games (43.1%), and electronics (34.6%).

• One-quarter (24.8%) of consumers say they’d like to receive jewelry, up from 23.3% last year.

• When asked if the state of the U.S. economy would impact their holiday spending plans, four in 10 (41.4%) said yes, down almost 20% from last year and the lowest amount since NRF first asked in 2009. Of those who said yes, most agree they will compensate by spending less overall (75.6%). Others will shop for sales more often (49.0%), comparison shop online more often (34.4%), use coupons more often (37%), buy more practical gifts (28.4%) and use last year’s decorations (24.8%).

• Self-gifting will decrease this year as shoppers opt to shift their budgets towards spending on others: 56.9% of holiday shoppers say they plan to take advantage of sales and discounts to purchase non-gift items for themselves or others, and will spend an average of $ 126.68, down from $ 134.77 last year.

• Nearly 50% of consumers plan to keep track of retailers’ promotions and sales through advertising circulars.


Online Stats 

• The average shopper will do 44% of holiday shopping online.

• 2 in 5 consumers said that they will spend more time researching online in order to find a good deal.

• Before making a purchase, shoppers reference 12 sources of information.

• 64% said YouTube is the most influential channel for making shopping decisions.

• Free shipping is deemed the second most important factor for shoppers when purchasing online.

• Digital interactions influence 36 cents of every dollar spent in the retail store.

• 44% of consumers want the ability to buy online and pick up their purchases in a store.

Mobile Stats

• 84% of store visitors use their mobile devices before or during a shopping trip.

• Consumers are using their mobile phones in the store to research products and find last minute ideas. 69% said that they would use their smartphone for holiday shopping.

• Nearly one third of consumers say they’d like to receive holiday deals via their mobile device.

• When it comes to why consumers choose to shop where they do during the holiday season, one-quarter of shoppers say easy-to-use mobile websites is an important factor in their decision to shop with a specific retailer.

• Broken down by age, 41.1% of 25-34 year olds are somewhat or very comfortable using their device to pay for items at the register, compared to just 14.4% of those 65+. Men are much more likely than women are to feel comfortable with the technology (32.6% vs. 22.5%).

• 1 in 3 consumers use their smartphones to find information they need rather than asking an employee.

Readers, which stat are you most surprised by? Let me know in the comment section below!

P.S. Nearly all the stats listed are from the NRF. However, there are a few stats sprinkled in from Yahoo  and Splashscore