Self-gifting is rapidly becoming a holiday tradition, right up there with hitting the mall on Black Friday or scanning Tweetdeck for lightning deals during Cyber Monday.
Last month, the National Retail Federation reported that this year's holiday shopping season might go down as the most selfish yet, with the average consumer expected to drop $749.51 on herself, and such sales to jump 4.1% to $586.1 billion.
But regardless of the stats, Time's Kit Yarrow writes that if you think the self-gifting trend is a sign of how selfish we've become, you'd be mistaken. She says the real reason we're spending so much on ourselves is that we're hyper-aware of deals, which makes it all the more tempting to crack open our wallet:
"[Consumers] have grown used to spectacular discounting throughout the entire holiday season, year after year. Just as we've been conditioned to associate the smell of pine needles and the sight of twinkling houses with the holidays, we're now more accustomed than ever to associate the holidays with massive bargains. It's been reported that roughly three-quarters of shoppers anticipate 'great deals this season,' compared to 62% a year ago."
Yet what Yarrow fails to point out is that the way we're increasingly relying on tech, i.e. smartphones and tablets, is what's driving this spending.
According to comScore, four out of five consumers use their smartphones to shop, totaling some 85.9 million people. And as mobile advertisers ramp up their spending, 68% of men and 58% of women say it's more likely to make them spend (via BizReport found), bolstering M&C Saatchi's prediction that such ad spending will climb 25% over the holidays. Google has also reported that mobile searches tend to spike around that time.
Beyond that, there's also the issue of showrooming and how it actually makes consumers 14% more likely to spend in-store when they're carrying a smartphone, as Deloitte reported in July. The researcher even found that just owning a smartphone for six months makes someone 40% more primed to spend in-store.
With all this in mind, you can only imagine what consumers will do when they get wind of all the deals being rolled out by big box retailers.
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