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Holiday 2016: Shoppers more generous — and more last minute


Online spending, and the amount of purchases made after the standard shipping deadline, were on the rise this holiday season.

That’s according Loop Commerce, which analyzed consumer gifting behavior and top gifts purchased from retailers, including Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Coach, among others, during the 2016 holiday season. The average spend per gift purchased online increased 44% over the same period last year, with fleece outerwear as the top holiday gift purchased in 2016.

Many online shoppers left themselves very little wiggle room to receive their merchandise however, as nearly 33% of total holiday gifts sent using Loop’s GiftNow platform were purchased after the close of the standard shipping window that started Dec. 22. This was a dicey proposition for almost half of the gifts (49%) that crossed state lines and were sent to a different state than the sender, data revealed.

Throughout the entire holiday season, consumers spend trended higher versus the previous season, with men spending roughly 24% more than women on average, and 43% more in 2016 than in 2015. The amount women spent this year also grew, with their average spend per gift was up 44% over last year, the report said.

With more retailers optimizing their mobile sites and applications, they attracted more consumers who are increasingly comfortable browsing and buying on their phones. There was significant growth in the percentage of people browsing via mobile and tablet browsing (26%), while desktop browsing decreased 41% over the same period last year.

Yet, the majority of online gifting transactions continue to take place on desktop, representing 63% of sales in 2016. While the percentage of desktop transactions decreased 7% year-over-year, the percentage of transactions on mobile devices grew 16% (handsets and tablets combined), data showed.

The male demographic also appeared to be more active online gift senders this year, hitting 40% from 37% last year, an 8% increase. The number of male gift recipients also increased this year to 37% compared to just 3% in 2015, representing a year-over-year increase of 19%, the report said.

Category-wise, outdoor apparel dominated holiday gift wish lists, and represented seven of the top 10 gifts purchased online, with fleece jackets and sweatshirts topping the list. The top three categories for gifts included apparel (40%), accessories (16%) and health and beauty (12%) — a very significant shift toward more thoughtful, personal gifts compared to the same period last year. In 2015, the top three categories were apparel (28%), health and beauty (17%), and home and garden (14%).

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