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Shoppers procrastinate too!

December 18, 2014

Last year, shoppers waited until the third week of December to complete their holiday shopping. It seems this year they are doing the same thing and recent numbers indicate that the end of the season will see a significant spike in sales.

Last year, shoppers waited until the third week of December to complete their holiday shopping. It seems that they are doing the same thing this year, and recent numbers indicate that the end of the season will see a significant spike in sales.

Third week of December is strong
Marketing Land reported that recent sales figures reveal shoppers are starting to take care of their last-minute shopping purchases. This week saw significant growth in sales, driven mainly by third party merchants such as Amazon, which grew by 15.3 percent. Google searches were up by 7.5 percent for the week as well, and overall growth was at 8.7 percent for the season. EBay’s growth lagged behind, however, with just 1.9 percent for the week, although the company was up by 9.7 percent for the season. The uptick in sales numbers for the third week in December shows that consumers suffer from shopper procrastination, but will ultimately make their purchases before Christmas.

Mobile device usage continued to be strong, with smartphones and tablets representing 42 percent of online traffic. In comparison, desktop computers were responsible for 58 percent of shopping traffic, according to Marketing Land, which shows that many people still prefer to use standard computers over smaller-screen devices. Smartphones led traffic for mobile devices with 24 percent, while tablets accounted for 18 percent.

U.S. News reported that Americans have already spent $602 billion on holiday shopping this year, according to data from the National Retail Federation.

The outlook is still positive 
The recent trend shows that deals are starting earlier in the season and lasting longer, so holiday spending has become more spread out. Additionally, lower gas prices have resulted in extra cash in consumers’ pockets, which will give a nice boost to holiday spending. Richard Moody, chief economist of Regions Financial commented on the situation.

Falling gasoline prices are freeing up cash for consumers to use on discretionary spending,” and the effects of those lower prices are only starting to show in retail sales data, said Moody, according to USA Today.

Consumers will be paying less to heat their homes and fuel their cars this winter, and potentially some of that money will go toward holiday gifts. The dip in November store sales is probably just indication that consumers were holding back, and will be completing this holiday shopping imminently.

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