Prior to the election and Superstorm Sandy, most consumers were cautiously optimistic about our economy. Many are ready to celebrate the holidays and spend slightly more than they did in 2011, which almost sounds unrealistic considering the high rate of unemployment in this country. Yet the National Retail Federation is forecasting that consumers will spend 4.1% more this holiday season; on average $750 per person, on gifts, holiday décor, candy and greetings cards.

Here’s how we predict consumers will be shopping this year:

Shopping Early

Consumers will be starting their official holiday shopping much earlier this holiday season. Thanks to retailers testing the waters last year opening their doors at midnight on Thanksgiving, we’re going to see more consumers shopping on what is now deemed Black Midnight. This will prompt marketers to spread the news of their deep discounts much earlier than ever before.

Social Media

Consumers will be influenced to tune into a brand’s Twitter and Facebook page during the holiday shopping season as their favorite brands continue to offer exclusives, discounts and coupons, as well as unadvertised sales.

Tablets and Mobile

This year we’ll see an increase in consumers using apps and their mobile devices to not only comparatively shop, but to look up retail locations and shop online. Now more than ever, brands should have a mobile-friendly website to insure that these tech savvy consumers don’t abandon their carts and opt to shop with their competitor.

Research Reviews

Everything from blogger to Amazon reviews will hold a high value of importance for those researching the gifts they intend to purchase. Exploring what others are saying about product value and performance will ultimately assist in a consumer’s final purchasing decision.

Online Shopping

This year online shopping is forecasted to increase 51% according to the NRF. This falls in line with more consumers’ comparative shopping this year and looking to land more online savings in order to stretch their holiday shopping budget. Discount sites like Groupon, ideeli, Jetsetter, Living Social and MyHabit will make grabbing a bargain a steal.


We’ve all been known to do it a time or two, but this year we’ll see more consumers honing in on a good deal in order to make a holiday purchase for themselves.

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