By Ashley Davis
Port Washington, N.Y.—The NPD Group polled a group of consumers to gauge their holiday 2018 shopping plans, and participants indicated more interest in brick-and-mortar shopping than last year.

A total of 3,605 people in the United States completed the “Holiday Purchase Intentions Survey.”

Unsurprisingly, 77 percent of survey-takers said they would do some of their holiday shopping online.

But notably, six out of 10 people said their shopping plans included in-store shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers, a 3 percent increase from last year. Forty-two percent indicated they would patronize mass merchant and discount stores, 24 percent said they would shop at national chains and 23 percent at department stores.

“While their sales are growing, retailers selling primarily online shouldn’t rest on their past success,” said The NPD Group’s Chief Industry Advisor Marshal Cohen. “They have to continue to create and find ways to close the deal more effectively and reduce the number of digital shopping carts abandoned before the final sale is completed.”

The NPD advised that retailers continue to emphasize creating the best omnichannel retail experience possible, particularly since product research happens primarily online, rather than on TV or in magazines and catalogs.

Cohen continued: “The traditional division between online and in-store retailing continues to shift and blur. Traditional store retailers are upping their online games these days, while they are also finding ways to drive traffic to stores with improved efficiency, more entertaining shopping experiences and better value.

“Online retailers are also finding ways to blur the retail divide in their own ways, offering lower prices and shipping options that get products to consumers faster than ever.”

When it comes to online shopping options, survey participants listed Amazon, which is still primarily an online-only company, as the top destination and 70 percent said their shopping would include online-only businesses.

More than half of consumers polled said they would research gifts before purchasing on, while 37 percent said they would look at consumer reviews and another 37 percent said they would find information via search engines.

“Where shoppers make their buying decisions is a critical step in the holiday shopping process,” Cohen said. “Product research increasingly happens online, first at major shopping sites and on social media, these days. TV, magazines and catalogs are far less important than they once were.”

Brick-and-mortar-only shoppers indicated they planned to spend an average of $492 this year, while those also shopping online said they would spend $748.

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