In-Store, Mobile, or Online? Where Consumers Are Shopping for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is this Sunday, and it looks like consumers are upping the ante this year in terms of gifts. According to a survey of 7,335 consumers by predictive analytics provider Prosper Insights and Analytics on behalf of the National Retail Federation, Father’s Day spending is expected to reach $15.5 billion this year — a more than 8% increase compared to the $14.3 billion forecasted in 2016.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents say they’re celebrating Father’s Day this year, and consumers are expected to spend, on average, $134.75 on gifts. Greeting cards are the most popular gift this year, with about 64% of respondents planning on making a purchase in this category. A “special outing,” like dinner or brunch, is next on the list (48%), according to the study, followed by clothing (46%) and gift cards (43%).

So, what channels are consumers using to conduct their Father’s Day shopping? According to the study, many are visiting brick-and-mortar stores. Forty percent of respondents say they’re going to department stores, compared to 34% who say they’re shopping online. About a quarter are shopping at discount stores (26%), the study notes, and another quarter are visiting specialty stores (24%). What’s more, about a fifth (19%) of consumers say they’re buying their Father’s Day gift from a local small business.

But when it comes to researching gift ideas, consumers are turning to their mobile devices. Indeed, 33% of the study’s smartphone owners say they’re using their devices to explore possible gift items; however, just 18% say they’ll actually buy the item with their phone. Tablet performance showed similar results: 32% of respondents say they’ll research Father’s Day gifts on these devices but just 19% say they’ll use them to actually buy, suggesting that marketers have more work to do in terms of creating more mobile friendly experiences that drive conversions.

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