Shoppers Gear Up For Holiday Deals

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Holiday shopping seems to start earlier every year, but this year more than half of people surveyed by Synchrony Financial said they would head to the stores even earlier, in order to find good discounts and spread out their spending over a longer period of time.

The Annual Holiday Shopping Study found that 55% of folks feel more optimistic about money this year compared to last year, and report that their household’s financial situation is improved over what it was one year ago.

This year, 34% of those surveyed said they would spend more than they did last year. In the previous year’s survey that percentage was a little lower, with 32% planning to spend more. When asked what was driving them to spend more this year, 45% said their personal financial situation had improved this year and that also, their shopping lists were longer.

Holiday sales expected to rise, but shoppers are still cautious

Synchrony Financial predicts a holiday sales spike of somewhere between 3.6% and 4% this year, and shoppers say they are seeking discounts and watching their wallets in spite of planning to spend more than last year.

Eighty-five percent of holiday shoppers said they would look for sales, and 59% said they’d keep to a holiday shopping budget. Last year only 53% said they’d be making out a special holiday budget. But folks also said they were nervous about setting a budget, as they weren’t sure they could really manage to stick to it when other unexpected holiday expenses popped up.

Bart Schaller, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Synchrony, said that even though customer confidence was up, “caution overrides personal optimism, and shoppers tell us they’re carefully planning, pacing and prioritizing their holiday purchases to stay on schedule and on budget.”

The day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday, as it’s known) is the traditional day to start holiday shopping, but 28% of those surveyed said they buy presents throughout the entire year. Forty-two percent said they’d start shopping before Black Friday.

As far as payment method, 66% of shoppers said they’d be putting their purchases on a credit card, and in particular a rewards credit card. There are rewards cards available for all levels of creditworthiness.

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