Internet marketing’s busiest time of year is upon us again – the 2006 holiday season is just around the corner and marketers are at their chained to their desks trying to convert consumers views into revenue. Earlier this month the NPD Group released their annual holiday survey, this year they surveyed 1,823 people as part of their consumer panel. According to the data respondents expect to increase their purchases this year in the following categories – clothing, toys, books, music and fragrances. Surprisingly enough the only category that has a decrease is electronics, sorry Future Shop, probably not what you wanted to hear. NPD Group’s Chief Industry Analyst Marshal Choen adds “I think this holiday season will look much the same as last year with growth, but modest growth.”

Spending Intentions – ’06 vs. ‘05

Category Plan to Purchased ’05
Purchase ’06
Clothing 65% 64%
Toys 47% 45%
Electronics 43% 55%
Books 41% 36%
Music 36% 33%
Fragrances 27% 25%

“This season will be marked by the return of shoppers to the “tried and true” gift items. Things like clothing and toys should see gains.” Cohen, says, adding, “Consumer Electronics will make a contribution to this season’s growth with notebooks and flat-panel televisions doing well.”
On the home front, the NPD survey shows consumers are planning to spend more on everything from Home Décor to Home Improvement to Home Appliances. Cohen says, “Despite recent economic news about falling home values, I think consumers will look to ‘feather their nests’ this season. Everything from small decorative items to small and large domestic appliances will contribute to growth in this area.”

How much will consumers spend during the 2006 holiday season?

The NPD Group does report that they expect an increase in consumer spending this year of $728 compared to $681 on holiday gifts. This is another gain from $655 spent during the 2004 holiday season. Unfortunately there wasn’t a break down on where this spending what percentage will be spent online, and the above numbers represent a combination of discount stores, retail and online shopping.

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