Consumers to spend more online this holiday season; millennials to drive increase; cyber Monday favored: KPMG survey

Fifteen percent of consumers plan to spend more money this holiday season versus last year, with one-third of them doing so online. In fact, more consumers, almost one-third (31%), are expected to shop on Cyber Monday in 2018, according to a KPMG 2018 holiday shopping season survey of over 1,000 consumers. A slight decrease in this year’s Thanksgiving Day shoppers is expected compared to last year.

Higher income households, as well as Millennials, also indicated that they are adopting online shopping faster than lower income households as they rapidly turn to online and mobile technologies to take advantage of holiday deals.

"As more consumers turn to online shopping this holiday season, retailers are expected to escalate their efforts to deliver seamless and personalized customer experiences, both online and in-store," said Mark Larson, national leader of KPMG's Consumer & Retail practice. "Consumers expect a convenient and consistent transaction experience, which is customized to their needs, while also protecting the privacy of their information.

“Expect to see an increasing use of technology and consumer data to provide personalized, on-demand experiences to customers, who are becoming less predictable,” Larson added.

Overall shopping patterns for the 2018 holiday shopping season favor Cyber Monday:

  • 2018 Cyber Monday shopping is expected to increase by 4 percent to 31 percent, from 27 percent the year before.
  • 2018 Black Friday shopping is expected to stay constant with the previous year at 44 percent.
  • 2018 Thanksgiving Day shopping is expected to decrease to 9 percent from 10 percent the year before.

Black Friday 2018 shopping trends show an increase in cross-channel shopping:

  • Of those planning to shop on Black Friday, 74 percent indicated that they plan to shop both online and in-store on that day, versus 68 percent from last year.
  • Those shopping just in-store on Black Friday are expected to decrease by 5 percent this year, to 12 percent from 17 percent the year before.

Expenditure levels point to an increase in spending during the 2018 holiday shopping season, with most of the increase coming from online:

  • Thirty-one percent of the 2018 holiday season shoppers expect to spend between $1 and $250, same as last year
  • One-third (33%) expect to spend between $251 and $500 this year, up from 32 percent last year.
  • Nine percent expect to spend between $751 and $1,000 this year, compared to 8 percent last year.
  • Consumers planning to spend between $501 and $750 this year remain at 19 percent, same as last year, and those planning spend over $1,001 this year remain at 9 percent, also similar to last year.

Millennials do not differentiate from other age groups in terms of overall spend but they plan to spend more online:

  • Eleven percent of Millennial respondents expect to spend more on just online purchases during the 2018 holiday season, compared to seven percent of non-millennials.
  • Sixteen percent of millennials and non-millennials expect to spend more, both in-store and online, during this holiday season versus last year.

About the survey

This survey was conducted Nov. 11-12, 2018, and it polled 1,031 consumers nationwide. KPMG plans to conduct similar surveys in mid-December, 2018, and following the 2018 holiday shopping season, examining customer insights and experiences around 2018 holiday shopping delivery, promotions and last-minute purchases.