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Discover Annual Holiday Survey Finds Consumer Spending Intentions to Be Bright

Seven out of 10 Consumers Plan to Shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday This Year

RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 30, 2013-- Twice as many Americans are planning to increase their spending during the 2013 holiday season compared to just three years ago, according to the Discover Holiday Shopping Survey commissioned by Discover Financial Services. Half of Americans plan to spend between $500 and $5,000, compared to just 40 percent who planned to spend that much in 2012.

In addition to the positive spending shift, consumers are also shifting how they plan to shop, as evidenced by the growing role of technology. The vast majority of consumers, 84 percent, say they will shop both in-store and online, up from 60 percent in 2012. In addition, 51 percent plan to use a smartphone app to compare prices and 31 percent say they would use a mobile wallet for their purchases.

2013 Holiday Shopping Figures: Consumers Are Geared Up to Spend

This holiday season, Americans plan to spend an average of $1,014, a 20 percent increase over 2012. The percentage of consumers who plan to increase their spending has doubled since 2010, from 13 percent to 27 percent. Men are particularly bullish about shopping, as their spending plans have increased by 15 percentage points since 2010 to 31 percent. In comparison, 22 percent of women will spend more this year, an increase of 12 percentage points since 2010.

More than half, 52 percent, have a budget for the holiday season. Women with a budget slightly increased in number from last year, 55 percent compared to 53 percent, while men with a budget slightly decreased, at 48 percent compared to 50 percent.

Thirty-one percent of consumers plan to spend between $500 and $1,000 on holiday shopping, up 5 percent from 2012. Nineteen percent of consumers plan to spend between $1,000 and $5,000, also up 5 percent from 2012.

Key Spending Drivers

As consumers consider the factors most likely to influence their holiday spending, retailer’s sales and promotions take the lead, followed by household expenses and existing debt obligations:

  • Retailers’ sales and promotions, 44 percent
  • Household expenses, 27 percent
  • Existing debt obligations, 14 percent

Americans plan to spend more at restaurants than on apparel this holiday shopping season. Exactly half of consumers plan to spend between $100 and $500 at restaurants. Eighty percent of shoppers plan to spend less than $500 on apparel, comprised of 40 percent who plan to spend less than $100 and 40 percent who plan to spend between $100 and $500.

Cash remains the respondents’ favorite way to pay for their purchases; 55 percent plan to use cash to make their holiday purchases, while 29 percent plan to use credit. Of those who will use credit, 40 percent will use their accumulated credit card rewards to supplement their shopping.

Customer service is also a driving force for holiday purchases in 2013, as 49 percent of Americans say a bad customer service experience will affect their decision to shop with a particular retailer again.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A Matter of Preference

The majority of shoppers, 70 percent, plan to take advantage of Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, comprised of 40 percent of shoppers planning to brave the crowds on Black Friday and 30 percent planning to go online for Cyber Monday. Additionally, one-third of shoppers will do a majority of their shopping on one of these days.

Consumers are not likely to go into Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday blind, as 76 percent of consumers plan to research the deals ahead of time. While scouting the sales, consumers will employ a range of tactics including researching newspapers and online news sites, 42 percent; retailers’ websites/promotional emails, 33 percent; social media, 8 percent; and TV/radio, 8 percent.

Americans prefer Black Friday because they say the shopping holiday offers better sales, at 41 percent. Additional factors influence shoppers’ willingness to face the crowds, including 21 percent preferring to see items in-store, and 20 percent upholding family tradition.

Convenience is king for Cyber Monday shoppers as 63 percent say they appreciate the ease of online shopping. Nearly a quarter, 24 percent, say they find better sales, and 11 percent prefer the ability to easily compare prices.

No matter consumers’ preference between the two big shopping events, shoppers top purchases will be electronics, clothing, toys and jewelry:

  • Electronics, 87 percent
  • Clothing, 71 percent
  • Toys, 58 percent
  • Jewelry, 30 percent

About the Discover Annual Holiday Shopping Survey

The Discover Annual Holiday Shopping Survey was an online poll of 1,005 American adults, 502 male and 503 female. The poll was conducted online between Sept. 24 and Oct. 22, 2013, by Penn Schoen and Berland.

About Discover

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers home loans, private student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its direct banking business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit www.discover.com/company.

Source: Discover Financial Services

Media Contacts:
Discover
Laura Gingiss, (224) 405-0185
lauragingiss@discover.com
or
Discover
Alyssa Siegele, (224) 405-4113
alyssasiegele@discover.com