Holiday 2018 Spending Could Reach $1 Trillion. Here's Other Eye-Popping Numbers You Need to Know. Get ready.

By Nina Zipkin

Eva-Katalin | Getty Images

Bring on the holiday cheer because it’s officially peak retail season. Case in point, starting Nov. 5 for the holiday season, all Amazon and Target customers can get free two-day shipping no matter the amount they spend. And consumers will spend, according to recent study from market research firm eMarketer that predicts retail sales in the U.S. will reach an eye-popping $1.002 trillion during the period from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31.

Below you'll find statistics on how consumers will shop this season -- and how much they will spend -- to help get you ready for the main event.

Increased spending

According to PwC’s 2018 Holiday Outlook, consumers said that they plan to spend an average of $1,250 this holiday season on gifts, travel and entertainment, up 5 percent from 2017. Eighty-four percent of consumers will spend the same or more than they did last year.

Ecommerce versus in-store

Ninety-one percent of consumers said that they will shop in stores while 84 percent said they will shop online. Seventy-five percent reported that they will shop both in stores and online. This third category will apparently spend $1,379 on average, more than those who plan to shop solely online -- $1,075 -- or solely in brick-and-mortar stores -- $742.

Smartphone shoppers

Salesforce predicts that mobile devices will be responsible for 68 percent of holiday shopping traffic and 46 percent of orders. Forty percent of holiday shopping will take place during Cyber Week.

Last-minute shopping

On Christmas Eve, Salesforce predicts that consumers will use their mobile phones for 72 percent of visits and 54 percent of orders. The company also predicts that 35 percent of all revenue will be driven by clicks from AI-based product recommendations.

Economic boom

The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that holiday spending, not including automobiles, gas and restaurants, will total anywhere from $717.45 billion to $720.89 billion.

Cardless payments

According to PwC, 30 percent of customers reported planning to use smart payment methods in stores, 24 percent by smartphone and 16 percent with a wearable device.

Get those ecommerce shops ready

Ecommerce sales are on track to see a 17 to 22 percent increase in 2018 compared with 16.6 percent last year, with Deloitte predicting that those sales will reach anywhere from $128 billion to $134 billion during the holiday season.

About your youngest customers

Unsurprisingly, of the consumers ages 17 to 22 polled by PwC who plan to do all their shopping online, 50 percent said they will shop with their smartphone, 39 percent will utilize buy buttons on social platforms and 35 percent will utilize shoppable images.

Visa or Mastercard?

The credit card is still the reliable payment method, with almost 75 percent of consumers reporting to PwC that they will use credit cards to pay for holiday shopping. Particularly for consumers 65 and older, 40 percent said they will use their credit cards to pay for all of their holiday shopping.

Holiday workers

NRF predicts that retailers will hire between 585,000 and 650,000 temporary workers to staff up for the holiday season, up from 582,500 in 2017.

A squad of Benjamins

Consumers plan to spend an average of $1,007 on candy, decorations and gifts and purchases for their families, according to NRF. That further breaks down into $638 for presents for friends, family and colleagues, $215 for non-gift holidays buys including decorations and $155 on non-gift items for themselves and their families.

The holiday season already started

Four in 10 people started their holiday shopping on Nov. 1, according to the NRF. Seventy-one percent of those polled said they are going to use a smartphone to buy presents. Eighteen percent said that they are way ahead of the curve and started holiday shopping back in September.

Do you offer gift cards?

When asked what gifts they would want to receive, 60 percent said they wanted a gift card, 53 percent said they wanted clothes, 37 percent said they wanted books and other media, 29 percent wanted electronic gadgets and accessories and 23 percent wanted home furnishings.

Free shipping is a must

Ninety-four percent of consumers said they were planning to take advantage of free shipping, 50 percent will opt to pick it up in store and 16 percent plan to use expedited shipping.

On sale

When it came to deciding where they wanted to shop, 71 percent said that sales and discounts was the most important factor in their choice, followed by 60 percent focusing on quality and 60 percent focusing on selection.

Wavy Line
Nina Zipkin

Entrepreneur Staff

Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture.

Nina Zipkin is a staff writer at She frequently covers leadership, media, tech, startups, culture and workplace trends.

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