Statistics on Holiday Shopping–Are You Headed for Debt? (Infographic)

Christmas day marks the climax of the holiday season as many Americans prepare for one last week of festivities from Dec. 25 to Jan. 1. Despite the moderately tame post-Christmas spending, however, 2011 holiday shoppers put quite a dent in the retail scene over the course of the last three months. provided statistics on holiday shopping, putting this year’s spending in perspective and making consumers more aware of the holiday debt hangover they could be headed for in January.

(Click to Enlarge)Statistics on Holiday Shopping Brought To By Accounting Software

Statistics on Holiday Shopping

The amount spent on holiday purchases continues to grow year over year. In 2011, shoppers are anticipated to have spent an average of $704.18 per person on gifts and seasonal items. Kids claim a bulk of the holiday treasures at $403.26 spent on average, followed by $68.23 spent on friends, $21.06 spent on co-workers and $23.39 spent on miscellaneous gifts.

Decking the halls with the spirit of the season is also an important year end tradition, as 87 percent of people surveyed say decorating improves their spirits during the holidays.

Decorations account for about $46.73 of spending, greeting cards average out at $26.52, floral arrangements hold at $18.23 and cherished Christmas trees average out to $42 in consumer costs. Surprisingly, gift wrapping costs for consumers equates to $2.6 billion worldwide. Lastly, a generous slice of holiday costs are allocated to food and candy, contributing to $96.75 of holiday expenses.

The popularity of online shopping has also contributed to the rise in holiday expenses as online shoppers spend about 22 percent more on the web than in physical retail stores. Online holiday shopping statistics reveal Cyber Monday 2011 saw 33 percent more online sales compared to the preceding year, as average order values increased from $193.24 to $198.26, a 2.6 percent rise.

Top Holiday Gift Ideas in 2011

Consumers are planning to buy a variety of gifts for the season:

  • Clothing and accessories: 58.6%
  • Gift cards: 57.3% (with an average value of $43.23)
  • Toys: 43.1%
  • Electronics: 32.2%
  • Food or candy: 30.1%
  • Cosmetic and personal items: 24%
  • Jewelry: 21.2%
  • Home décor: 18.3%
  • Sporting equipment: 17.8%

Holiday Shopping: When and Where

A reported 38.9 percent of consumers shopped for holiday gifts before Halloween, while 51.4 percent of shoppers were in full-shopping-swing by mid-November.

Black Friday weekend 2011 witnessed an incredible 152 million shoppers. Total Black Friday sales were at $52 billion, with the average Black Friday shopper spending about $398.62.

Procrastinators were far and few with only 4.1 percent of Americans holding-off on their holiday shopping until the last two weeks of December.

A closer look into holiday online shopping statistics revealed that the average shopper plans to complete 36 percent of their holiday shopping online, while 46.7 percent of shoppers will purchase gifts exclusively online this year. The average online shopper is interested in the convenience factor and is about 25-34 years old with younger children.

On Thanksgiving 2011, online sales increased by 39 percent compared to 2010. Consumers who reached retail websites via mobile devices increased dramatically from 6.45 percent in 2010 to 15.2 in 2011. Additionally, 11.09 percent of shoppers purchased merchandise through mobile devices in 2011, as opposed to only 4.25 percent over the 2010 holiday season.

Discount stores were the retailer of choice for 66.1 percent of consumers, followed by 56.9 percent of Americans shopping for gifts at department stores, 48.8 percent of shoppers visiting grocery stores, 38 percent of shoppers spurring revenue at small business, 35.2 percent searching through clothing stores, 21.1 percent of shoppers browsing the isles at drug stores and 17.5 percent of consumers picking up holiday items at craft stores.

Consumers identified that price and sales, customer service and merchandise quality are among the top influences of where they choose to shop. 41.6 percent said sales and pricing are the most significant factor, while 14.6 percent noted merchandise quality was high in importance. Only 6 percent of shoppers felt that customer service was a major factor affecting where they shopped.

Fun Holiday Statistics

France received the most letters addressed to Santa Claus in 2007, adding up to 1,220,000 letter from 126 different countries. 86 percent of adults surveyed believed in Santa Claus as a child, with the average age to reveal Santa “isn’t real” being at 8 years-old. Only 15 percent of kids believe in Santa past the age of 10.

Extreme holiday spending continues with the world’s most expensive artificial Christmas tree located in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It stands at 43 feet tall and is worth over $11 million total–the tree alone costs $10,000 and is adorned with 181 diamonds, pearls, emeralds, sapphires and other precious stones worth a total of $11.5 million. This jewel of the holiday season is closely protected with the aid of 4 dedicated security guards monitoring it 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.