It seems no matter how cautious I am with my spending each holiday season, I always end up exceeding my carefully-planned budget. Every year there’s something new I can’t wait to get my hands on – such as lavish decorations or a special occasion outfit I simply can’t live without. Not surprisingly, an overwhelming 77% of U.S. adults also go over budget every year (Coinstar). So, why can’t most of us control ourselves during this festive time of year?

Clearly, the holiday season holds great sentimental value to us: we’re all so focused on celebrating the holidays and making them extra special for our loved ones that we often overlook how much we’re really spending. Christmas Eve, for instance, is all about sharing treasured moments, delicious home-cooked meals, and thoughtful gifts, all within the comforts of our well-decorated home.

These festivities come with a cost, however, and retailers who are well-informed about holiday shoppers’ spending habits can significantly grow their bottom lines. Here are the top 15 must-know holiday shopping statistics that can help retailers get ready for their busiest time of year.

Holiday sales are expected to exceed $1 trillion this year

  1. This year’s holiday sales are predicted to exceed $1 trillion – Deloitte

Customers will be spending about $1000 on gifts, roughly the same as they did last year

  1. On average, customers plan on spending $967.13 in 2017 – NRF
  2. This year’s holiday shoppers will purchase 15 gifts – Deloitte
  3. “Across both Canada and the U.S. the majority of consumers plan to spend about the same as they did in previous years—71% in Canada and 66% in the U.S.” – Nielsen

Using a robust e-commerce platform will be the single most important element to consider for retailers trying to achieve greater ROI in 2017

  1. 3 in 5 customers plan to purchase gifts online this year – Deloitte
  2. Consumers with an annual income exceeding $100,000 will spend 57% of their holiday budget online, while 39 % will visit stores, and 9% other retail channels – Deloitte
  3. 51% of customers prefer shopping online, 42% in-store, and the remaining 7% through retail channels like print catalogs and direct mail promotions – Deloitte
  4. E-commerce is expected to climb 15.8%, while total retail growth will slow to 2.0%. – eMarketer

Gift cards are on most shoppers’ wish list this year

  1. 6 in 10 customers would like to receive gift cards – NRF

Most customers start shopping before the holiday season starts, including Millennials

  1. 42% plan to start shopping in November – NRF
  2. “34% of Canadian and 27% of U.S. Millennials say they’ve already started shopping” – Nielsen
  3. “One quarter of the [Coinstar] survey respondents say they will buy all or most of their gifts throughout the year when they are on sale” – Coinstar

Most people set a budget, but go over it

  1. “65% of U.S. adults will set a budget this holiday season, and 77% will go over [it]” – Coinstar

Entertaining family and friends is central to the holiday season

  1. “Besides gifts, the highest-anticipated holiday expense reported is entertaining family and friends at 34%”- Coinstar

Focusing on both laptop and smartphone users will help attract more consumers 

  1. “Retailers stand a 75% chance of converting a desktop- or laptop-using shopper to a purchaser this holiday season—and a 59% probability of converting a smartphone shopper to a customer” – Deloitte


Holiday Shopping Statistics