holiday shopping brand loyaltyBrand loyalty will be at the forefront of holiday shopping this year as customers will engage with their favorite retailers, according to the 2014 Holiday Study from Bond Brand Loyalty.

Customer loyalty continues to play a crucial role as 66% of consumers plan to shop at their favorite retailers; 44% will give gifts purchased from brands they are loyal to and, to stretch their dollars even further, 42% will use loyalty points to fund their shopping.

The study, which surveyed 1,000 Americans, found holiday gift budgets are up over last year at $770, with generosity lowest for pets and bosses at $10 each.

“This study is always entertaining and valuable,” Rob Daniel, EVP, Bond Brand Loyalty. “The insights we uncover about shopping behavior, attitudes and preferences can help brands engage more effectively with consumers, ensuring that consumers get the level of service they need to make holiday shopping a positive experience. For example, we found that less than one-third of consumers think customer service is better during the holidays. This is a great opportunity for brands to invest in unique differentiators, like VIP shopping events, gift wrapping, valet parking and loyalty member privileges, to make this important and busy shopping season more enjoyable for their customers.”

According to the study, brand loyalty plays an important role in shopping decisions:

66% of consumers will shop at their favorite retailers

44% buy their favorite brands as gifts for others

42% use loyalty points to fund their shopping

41% choose retailers and brands where they can earn points

Holiday shopping is not necessarily a social event:

Almost 60% of Americans do not view holiday shopping as a time to connect and bond with friends or family

How much are they spending and when?

68% of consumers will shop on Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday, and will spend 45% of their holiday budget during these two days

$770 is the average gift budget, with men spending $815 and women $735

Men will spend $78 on themselves and women $50

Pets and bosses are not the beneficiaries of holiday generosity - they are at the bottom of people's holiday budgets, at$10 each

17% of consumers will re-gift this year, the highest being millennials at 27%

Only 50% of Americans stick to their holiday budget

24% shop all year for gifts, 38% shop in the last month, 7% in the last week

The impact of online:

53% of holiday shopping is done in-store, 29% shop online (desktop/laptop), and 7% shop on mobile or tablet

Research on purchases is being conducted almost equally in-store (57%) and online (54%)

Advice from friends and family ties with Google searches at 44%. Research using flyers is next at 27%, followed by television at 26%, social media at 25% and magazines at 18%

“The study reveals some interesting findings that clearly highlight the importance of building meaningful engagement and experiences with digitally empowered customers,” Bob Macdonald, President & CEO of Bond Brand Loyalty, added. “Brands that deliver a differentiated and consistent shopping experience across all channels will not only come out on top this season, they will build trust, advocacy, and long-lasting brand loyalty for months and years to come.” 

Callout: Brands that deliver a differentiated and consistent shopping experience across all channels will not only come out on top this season, they will build trust, advocacy, and long-lasting brand loyalty for months and years to come

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