30 sweet statistics on consumer spend trends for December

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

This popular holiday tune could be the theme song for retailers this holiday season. November and December are by far the biggest money-making months for retailers, accounting for as much as 30% of sales for the year. And if it goes the way some pundits predict, it’ll be music to sellers’ ears. Holiday sales could reach $631 billion this year, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF); close to 10% of this will be online spend.

Attracting buyers won’t be as easy a sell this year. Consumers appear more cautious that previous years, with a closer eye on their budgets. Retailers will need to work harder in 2015 to loosen their purse strings. The good news is that the spend trend is expected to continue upwards, albeit at a slower pace. Consumers celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa are expected to spend an average of $805 this holiday season – the highest it’s been in the 14 years the NRF has conducted its Consumer Holiday Spending Survey.

A longer season is likely the catalyst. Over the past few years, more consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier. The majority of consumers (57%) will start shopping in early November. Last year, Google reported that 40% started before Halloween and Deloitte data shows that close to half (48%) complete most of their gift buying before Cyber Monday.

The biggest change in 2015 could be how sellers plan to compete for consumers’ attention. Many retailers say they’ll focus more on service and differentiation over discounts this year. Better inventory management and stocking on-trend products also top of the list. Considering that 87% of consumers say price will still be the tipping point in the decision to buy this holiday season, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, will that prove to be the best move? That’s still to be seen.

But we don’t want to divulge all the good stuff. Anticipation is half the fun of the holidays – like the daily reveal of an Advent calendar. Who doesn’t love the thrill of opening up a little numbered door each day in December to discover a new treat? In the spirit of the season, Avalara put together a Holiday Ava-vent Calendar chock full of fun (and useful) facts. Check back daily as a new tidbit is revealed. It’s not chocolate or toys, but we think there’s some sweet information here that could make it a happier holiday for you and your customers.


Repost from Avalara