Americans to Spread Holiday Cheer by Spending More Money and Shopping on Mobile This Year

Americans to spend an average of $908 on holiday gifts, up from $839 in 2015

76% of consumers shopping on mobile devices, significantly up from 58% last season

When it comes to gifts, Americans expect to spend an average of $908, an 8% increase from last year ($839 in 2015), and among affluent consumers, the expected gift spend increases to an average of $1,513.

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NEW YORK--()--The holidays may still seem a distant way out, but Americans are already crossing items off of their shopping lists. In fact, as of end-of-September, one-third (33%) of consumers say they have already started their holiday shopping, up significantly from 25% in 2015, according to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

When it comes to gifts, Americans expect to spend an average of $908, an 8% increase from last year ($839 in 2015), and among affluent consumers, the expected gift spend increases to an average of $1,513.

Across the board, the most popular gifts to give this year are:

  • Gift cards (52% vs. 57% in 2015)
  • Clothing and accessories (51% vs. 47% in 2015)
  • Toys and games (50% vs. 44% in 2015)

“While consumers are spending more money on gifts this year, they are becoming savvier with how they spend their time shopping,” said Kartik Mani, Executive Vice President of Global Consumer Lending at American Express. “With our constant connection to technology, more Americans than ever before are using their mobile devices to help them make holiday purchases.”

More than 3 in 4 Americans (76%) are turning to their mobile devices for their holiday shopping, whether to browse, compare prices or view deals (vs. 58% in 2015). There has also been a significant increase (62%) in Americans planning to purchase and/or redeem e-gift cards on mobile devices this year (26% vs. 16% in 2015).

One-Stop Holiday Shopping

While mobile will play a major role in holiday shopping this year, virtually all consumers (94%) will turn to online, whether they’re researching, comparing prices, looking for hard-to-find gifts, or ultimately to make a purchase.

For the past four years, about 60% of consumers have preferred to make their holiday gift purchases online. The “go to” place for online holiday shopping are shopping networks, such as Amazon and eBay (65%), followed by superstores, like Target and Walmart (48%), which give consumers the convenience of “one-stop shopping” for everyone on their list.

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Though many consumers are getting to their holiday shopping earlier and earlier, Black Friday is still a major holiday for retailers and consumers alike. Fifty-three percent (53%) of consumers plan to shop on Black Friday this year, up significantly from 45% in 2015, and it is the highest level of participation since 2010 (the first year polled as part of this study). Not far behind, 50% of consumers have plans to shop on Cyber Monday, up slightly from last year (47%).

Hosting for the Holidays and Managing Stress

Holiday spending goes far beyond shopping for gifts. In fact, Americans expect to spend an average of $443 on holiday-related expenses this year (up 7% from $414 in 2015), like hosting and attending holiday parties, as well as decorating the home for the season. In particular, spending on decorations has increased 58% from 2015 ($185 vs. $117), and costs associated with attending a holiday party have increased 57% from 2015 ($119 vs. $76).

Despite all the joy and warmth that the holiday season brings, it can be a very busy and costly time for consumers. The amount of time consumers are devoting to holiday prep is up 25% (58 hours vs. 47 hours in 2015), which can include time spent at holiday parties, cooking, traveling to see family, and most of all, shopping for gifts (17 hours). Not surprisingly, seven out of ten consumers admit that they find the holidays to be stressful, which can mainly be attributed to shopping, budgeting, and entertaining.

About the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker

The American Express Spending & Saving Tracker research was completed online among a random sample of 1,540 adults, including the general U.S. population, an affluent demographic defined by a minimum annual household income of $100,000. Interviewing was conducted by Ebiquity from September 14-19, 2016. The results have an overall margin of error of +/- 2.5 at the 95 percent level of confidence.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpresslinkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, Plenti rewards program, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, corporate cardbusiness travel and corporate responsibility.

About Ebiquity

Ebiquity is a leading independent marketing analytics specialist. They provide objective data insights to major brands worldwide, helping them navigate the evolving marketing landscape to achieve business success. They work with over 80% of the world’s biggest advertisers and offer industry-leading services including Marketing Effectiveness, Multi-channel Analytics, Agency Pitch Management, Agency Contract Compliance, Digital Performance Measurement, and Media Auditing. Ebiquity employs over 900 people in 19 offices in 14 countries worldwide.

Contacts

American Express
Jane DiLeo, 212-640-8055
jane.e.dileo@aexp.com
or
Ogilvy Public Relations
Denise Peregos, 212-880-5374
denise.penagos@ogilvy.com

Contacts

American Express
Jane DiLeo, 212-640-8055
jane.e.dileo@aexp.com
or
Ogilvy Public Relations
Denise Peregos, 212-880-5374
denise.penagos@ogilvy.com