Stores & Shoppers Sing Different Carols This Holiday Season: BDO Surveys

BDO’s inaugural 2017 Retail CxO Holiday Survey report explores the divide between retailers’ and consumers’ plans for how and where they’ll invest this holiday season. For this report, a mix of 100 retail CEOs, CFOs and CIOs were surveyed on their 2017 holiday season forecasts. Simultaneously, BDO’s Consumer Beat Survey asked more than 1,000 U.S. consumers how they’d prioritize between money, time, and convenience ahead of the holiday season. What did our polls of the two groups reveal?
 
Amazon is the first-stop holiday shop, but retailers may not be convinced.
More than 1 in 4 consumers plan to purchase the majority of their holiday gifts on Amazon. It’s also where 37% of high-income consumers (those with household incomes of $100k or more) intend to make most of their holiday purchases. However, just 36% of retail executives see Amazon as their largest competitor for holiday sales, compared to the 50% who think big box retailers like Target and Walmart are the biggest threat.
 
Brands and consumers are aligned in their financial expectations.
Nearly half (48%) of retail C-suite executives expect sales to increase this holiday season and, on average, they anticipate a 2.2% sales boost. This modest projection is in line with consumers’ largely stable spending plans, as 54% of those surveyed plan to spend the same amount on holiday gifts this year as they did in 2016. There are differences across generations, though. Forty-one percent of Millennials plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, compared to just 9% of Baby Boomers.
 
Money is more precious than time.
The large majority (83%) of shoppers would choose to take the time to travel 15 minutes to retrieve a $75 gift from the store before paying an extra $10 to have it shipped directly to their home. At the same time, 71% of consumers would rather wait in line for 45 minutes for 50% off a $50 gift than order it from a kiosk in-store for full price. Retailers recognize that most consumers are on the hunt for a good deal during the holidays. In fact, 42% of executives surveyed cite sales and discounts as the promotion that will have the greatest impact on holiday sales, more so than free or expedited shipping, unique in-store experiences, or free giveaways.
 
For an in-depth look at the findings from both surveys, download and read the full 2017 BDO Retail CxO Holiday Survey report here. And check out our infographic for more insights from our 2017 Consumer Beat Survey here.
 
For more information on the holiday season for retailers, contact Natalie Kotlyar at nkotlyar@bdo.com. And, be sure to keep up with the latest retail news by subscribing to our blog on the Consumer Business Compass homepage here, and follow us on Twitter at @BDOConsumer.