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Worthington, Ohio — November 16, 2016

Prosper Insights & Analytics, a leading provider of advanced business intelligence, released the Holiday 2016: Top Trends at the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference today. Pam Goodfellow, principal analyst for Prosper, presented unique trends that are emerging this holiday season.

Anxiety and frustration regarding the 2016 presidential election seem to have affected consumers’ holiday spending outlook, which was recorded in early October. Planned spending per person on items such as gifts, décor, cards, foods and flowers is expected to be $796* in 2016, compared to $819 last year. However, as of early November, several of Prosper’s broader financial trackers indicate that consumers have become less conservative with their spending plans month-over-month and year-over-year, suggesting that, despite political uncertainty, shoppers are gearing up for holiday spending.

“Holiday spirit will likely trump concerns stemming from Washington D.C. this year, but political anxiety may be a minor headwind facing retailers for holiday 2016,” said Pam Goodfellow, Principal Analyst and Consumer Insights Director for Prosper. “Shoppers are lacking ‘must have’ items on their gift lists and will likely be distracted by ‘experience’ gifts, like cooking classes or spa packages, which cannot be bought via traditional retailers. And don’t forget about Consumers are poised to ‘win’ the holiday season due to a highly promotional, competitive selling environment.”

Holiday 2016 Top Trends

Spending Slides
Consumers are planning to spend slightly less year-over-year. Up 4.4%, self-spending continues to be a highlight in purchase intentions and brings the total planned spending per person to $936, off marginally from 2015’s $953.

What’s Impacting Spending Plans
Certainly the election has caused anxiety, but the lack of “must have” products this season and an undercurrent of people having enough “stuff” are also factors. Since the Great Recession, we’ve continued to see a new normal attitude from consumers, who are conditioned to look for sales, shop around, and not spend more than what they have to.

Who Will Be Spending This Season?
Millennials are the hot segment and on every retailer’s wish list, but the youngest generation’s planned spending is down year-over-year. Retailers should be zeroing in on Gen X-ers who are in their prime earning years and intend to spend more in 2016 than they did in 2015. This oft-overlooked generation is accounting for the largest proportion of planned gift spending, at 34%, followed by Boomers (31%), Millennials (21%) and Silent Generation (13%). Gen X shoppers are planning to spend $46.6 billion on holiday gifts this year, 60% more than their Millennial counterparts.

Online = Major Player
Online continues to threaten brick and mortar retailing, as shoppers are equally likely to shop at department stores, discount stores and online for their holiday purchases this year. For 2016, celebrants estimate that they will do 48% of their holiday shopping online, a record high. This figure rises above 50% among younger generations.

Gifts of Experience
Gifts of experience are likely to distract consumers from reaching for more traditional gifts this year as well. Most popular among younger generations and upper income households, these “outside the box” gifts proved popular with Nordstrom and Macy’s shoppers during holiday 2015.

Amazon’s Prime Opportunity
Amazon continues to attract loyal shoppers via its popular Prime membership subscription. Currently, more than a third (36%) of Adults 18+ have access to Amazon Prime memberships, rising nearly 30% year-over-year. Prime memberships rise particularly among Nordstrom, Toys R Us, Target, and Macy’s shoppers. It’s Amazon’s game this holiday season; retailers who underestimate or fail to understand shoppers’ affinity for the online giant will likely be left out in the cold.

*Source: National Retail Federation, Prosper Insights & Analytics™

To download presentation materials, click here.

Prosper Insights & Analytics™
Prosper Insights & Analytics provides advanced business intelligence using sophisticated analytical software to examine big datasets and provide answers to executives via its cloud-based InsightCenter™ platform powered by Prosper Technologies. By integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data, Prosper Insights & Analytics delivers insights for executive decision making. Further, it is continually identifying unique insights through analytics to enable marketers to make knowledge-based decisions rather than relying on intuition. To learn more:

Chrissy Wissinger, Director, Communications
Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director / Principal Analyst

Prosper Insights & Analytics Releases “Holiday 2016: Top Trends” at Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference