Q4 2018 Shopper Forecast

‘Tis the season for holiday forecasting: and there’s an 80% chance shoppers are starting their search on Amazon

New research from CPC Strategy reveals how consumers are tackling their holiday shopping, and details what will drive purchase decisions in Q4  

San Diego, CA  — October 11, 2018  — ‘Tis the season for holiday forecasting, and the National Retail Federation predicts a strong finish to the year with a boost of nearly 5% in retail sales over 2017 for a total of close to $720 billion. And while millennials have been blamed for killing everything from diamonds to beer, their plans to ramp up spending may be responsible for retail growth in Q4. So how can retail brands maximize sales? CPC Strategy, a retail-focused digital marketing agency, surveyed 1500 consumers about their shopping plans, from how much they’ll spend to where they’ll look first. The 2018 U.S. Holiday Shopping Forecast uncovered insights that should shape every retail advertiser’s Q4 strategy — including a breakdown of how different ages and genders shop, how shoppers will browse and buy across devices, and how Amazon influences their purchase decisions. A full report on the study’s methodology and findings, along with analysis of the results, can be found on the CPC Strategy website.

“Our study showed that 80% of holiday shoppers will start their hunt for gifts on Amazon this year,” said Rick Backus, CEO and cofounder of CPC Strategy. “A lot of those respondents also said they’ll start shopping before Thanksgiving – meaning your customers might have already made their gift purchases long before you’ve launched your Q4 advertising strategy. The most successful brands and retailers will move their Q4 campaign timelines up, especially if they’re advertising on Amazon.”

The results demonstrate Amazon’s increasing dominance during the holiday season. By comparison, 72% of respondents answered that they would start their search on Amazon in CPC Strategy’s 2017 US Holiday Shopper Forecast.

Another retailer with a sunny outlook this season is Walmart, with 57% of online shoppers planning on visiting the site for their holiday shopping. The likelihood of shopping at Walmart increases with age and gender: 70% of 45-54 year old women plan to shop at Walmart. This is consistent with a 2016 survey by Kantar Retail that revealed that the average Walmart shopper is a “50-year-old woman with an annual household income of $53,125.” It’s also hints at a successful holiday season for the discount big box retailer that’s been doubling down on efforts to compete with Amazon.

Commissioned by CPC Strategy and conducted by Survata, the survey asked 1,500 online respondents ages 18-65 a series of questions, including how much shoppers plan to spend compared to the previous year, when and where they plan to shop, and what devices they’ll use to complete their purchases.  

Other key findings of the report:

  • 46% of shoppers are planning to shop both online and in store for gifts
  • 43% of respondents plan to shop for gifts via mobile devices
  • 40% of shoppers plan to buy their gifts before Thanksgiving

So what can brands learn from this research? The biggest takeaway from this year’s study wasn’t just that consumers want to spend less; they’re getting smarter about how and where they spend. Considering the fact that 20% of shoppers are planning to spend less this year than they did last year, it’s important to be where they are, and to make their experience worthwhile.

For an overview of the research findings with a link to the complete research findings and analysis, please visit https://cpcstrategy.com/2018-q4-holiday-shopping-forecast/?utm_source=publications

About CPC Strategy

CPC Strategy is a retail-focused digital marketing agency that specializes in driving performance growth on the channels that directly impact a retailer’s digital bottom line. Founded in 2007, CPC executes on ad strategy and management for retailers and brands on Google, Amazon, Facebook, and other product advertising channels. CPC Strategy ranked #1,288 in the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies™ and was also honored as a finalist in “Best Places to Work” by the San Diego Business Journal. For more information visit https://cpcstrategy.com/.

Contact:

Megan Leer

CPC Strategy

mleer@cpcstrategy.com

619.708.9500