NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With the holiday season well underway, consumers will be flocking to their local shopping centers for all the essentials they need to make their season bright according to a consumer survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Between now and Christmas Day consumers will visit a shopping center on average 6.5 times a week for goods and services spending on average $147.00 a week. This translates into a whopping $4.3 billion dollars a day in sales or $30 billion dollars a week in sales.
“Whether it’s to find the perfect gift, take the kids to see Santa, support a charitable activity, get the ingredients needed for the holiday cookies, or simply enjoy a meal with friends and family shopping centers are truly the hub of the holiday shopping season,” asserted ICSC President and CEO, Thomas McGee.
While mobile technology has greatly changed the way consumers shop, what has remained constant is the fact that consumer do the vast majority of their shopping at shopping centers with 83 percent of U.S. consumers visiting a shopping center at least once a week, including 92 percent of the most tech-savvy consumers, 18-24 year olds. Overall, the young consumers visit shopping centers on average 10.8 times a week.
“Although it may seem counter-intuitive that the most wired consumer, Millennials between the ages of 18-24, spend the most time at shopping centers, today’s shopping centers are more than places to simply buy goods and services as they have incorporated a multitude of dining and entertainment venues into their tenant mix. Combined with the fact that shopping is no longer a choice between clicks and bricks but rather an omni-channel journey that often leads to fulfillment at a physical store, it is not surprising that consumers visit shopping centers so often,” explained Mr. McGee.
An earlier survey conducted by ICSC over the Black Friday weekend substantiates the importance of the physical store to the omni-channel shopping experience. The survey found that 40 percent of Thanksgiving Day shoppers made a purchase online from a retailer with a physical presence and picked up that item in store. Nearly one-third (32 percent) of Black Friday shoppers did the same, which gives a combined 34 percent for both days. More importantly, about 6 in 10 shoppers bought more items once on the premises.
One of the reasons for the high in-store conversion rates could be shoppers’ online research prior to their visits with slightly more than two-thirds (68 percent) of these shoppers who purchased in store researched online before visiting the location. Technology has altered in-store behavior as well. On Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, about 62 percent of shoppers used their smartphones or tablets while in stores for shopping-related purposes. Usage is identical by gender and about the same by income group but varies widely by age. This use ranges from 78 percent among 18-24 year-olds to 32 percent for those 65 and older.
The top reasons these shoppers gave for in-store mobile use were to:
- Compare prices (33 percent)
- Check availability (23 percent)
- Get digital coupons (21 percent)
- View ratings (18 percent)
- Email or text friends and family for opinion (18 percent)
- Buy items online while in-store (18 percent)
These figures demonstrate that the use of smartphones and tablets is already well integrated into consumer behavior and the overall shopping center experience. Mobile technology users employed their devices not just for comparison and research purposes, but also for affirmation of their buying inclinations. An astounding 93 percent of those shoppers who used their mobile device in store made purchases. “Overall what our research confirms is that today’s tech-savvy consumer is more knowledgeable than ever about the goods and services they desire. Armed with this information, consumers’ holiday shopping journeys are productive and efficient with the shopping center positioned at the heart of their total experience,” Mr. McGee noted.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. The shopping center industry is essential to economic development and opportunity. They are a significant job creator, driver of GDP, and critical revenue source for the communities they serve through the generation of sales taxes and the payment of property taxes. These taxes fund important municipal services like firefighters, police officers, school services, and infrastructure like roadways and parks. Shopping centers aren’t only fiscal engines however; they are integral to the social fabric of their communities by providing a central place to congregate with friends and family, discuss community matters, and participate in and encourage philanthropic endeavors. For more information about ICSC visit www.icsc.org and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to www.thecenterofshopping.com.