NEW YORK–Nearly half (48 percent) of consumers surveyed by Deloitte said they will shop online for the holidays, up from 35 percent last year.
This finding, part of the consulting firm’s 26th annual holiday-shopping survey, put online retailers at number one, along with discount stores, in shopping destinations mentioned by respondents—the first time for the online channel since Deloitte added it to its annual study. In addition, shopping on the Web did not skew toward younger consumer’s in this year’s poll. An average of 30 percent of participants 45 years of age and older said they would shop online during the holidays, along with 32 percent of those from 18 to 24.
Deloitte’s survey “indicates that digital shopping transcends all ages groups, so retailers must ensure they have a targeted online strategy that is consistent with the in-store experience, regardless of the demographic they serve,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail and distribution leader for Deloitte.
Social-media sites also registered as important for the respondents, with 44 percent saying they plan to use them for holiday shopping. Also, 71 percent of the participants said they would engage in multichannel shopping, such as purchasing an item in a store after researching it online.
Smart phones will also play a key role in the holiday season. Twenty-seven percent of smart-phone owners said they will use their phones in holiday shopping, 56 percent will check and compare prices on their phones while in a store and 38 percent will use their phones to scan bar codes to locate product information.