FDRA’s 2017 Holiday Shoe Sales Survey shows comfort/casual sneakers/leisure footwear remaining the top choice for holiday shoe buyers, with more shoppers planning to spend more than $100 on shoes and Amazon dominating as the go-to place for holiday shoe buying.

The poll of approximately 900 consumers was conducted between November 5-8, 2017. The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) conducted the nationwide shoe sales survey on behalf of its footwear retail members.

Among the key findings:

  • Holiday spend: Shoppers are planning on spending less money this year than they did last year (39 percent to 29 percent), while in 2016, 36 percent said they plan on spending more money and 33 percent said less. However, in a separate question about how much shoppers plan to spend, 61 percent said over $100, which is up from 49 percent in 2016. Those planning to spend over $250 also saw an increase from 10 percent to 17 percent this holiday season.
  • What footwear they’re buying: Comfort/casual sneakers/leisure footwear for the second year in a row is the most popular footwear item for this year’s survey, with 34 percent reporting likely to purchase. Similar to 2016 numbers, performance sneakers for the gym or sports were ranked second at 22 percent and in a statistical tie with fashion or winter boots at 19 percent and dress shoes like heels, flats or men’s oxfords at 18 percent. Work boots were the choice of 6 percent, and 2 percent reported they were purchasing something else.
  • What footwear they’re buying by gender: Males were most likely to purchase casual sneakers (35 percent) and performance sneakers (30 percent) while females were also most likely to purchase casual sneakers (34 percent) and fashion boots (26 percent).
  • Where they’re buying shoes: Sixty-one percent said they plan to purchase footwear in a physical store this holiday season, with 39 percent reporting they will shop and purchase online. As expected, there appears to be a correlation between online or in-store shopping preference and age. For instance, those between 18 to 29 said they plan to do 59.4 percent of their shopping online versus only 20.9 percent of those between 50 and 59.
  • Where they’re shopping for footwear at physical stores: For in-store purchases, chain stores are the preferred choice of 49 percent. That’s followed by department store, 19.4 percent; big box retailer, 17 percent; somewhere else, 8.3 percent; and local family owned store, 6.8 percent. A majority of females plan to shop at a chain store (56 percent) while 36 percent of men will shop at a chain store.
  • What they like about in-store shoe shopping: Ensuring proper fit and comfort is what 45 percent of shoppers said they most liked about in-store shopping. That’s followed by customer service, 25.2 percent; convenience, 21.6 percent; and seeing new shoes, 8.1 percent.
  • Where they’re shopping for footwear online: Online shoppers are going to Amazon 48 percent of the time for their footwear purchases, up slightly from last year when 44 percent reported using Amazon. That was followed by brands’ own sites, 19.3 percent; retailers’ site, 14.2 percent; online sales sites, 13.3 percent; and somewhere else, 6.8 percent. Males are more likely to go to Amazon (58 percent) than females (42 percent). Females are more likely to shop at retailers’ sites (18 percent) than males (8 percent). Amazon is the preferred choice with all age groups. However, 55 percent of those under 50 reported using Amazon while among those over 50, 32 percent reported Amazon and 23 percent reported retailers.
  • What they like about shopping for shoes online: Convenience ranked as the most important (33 percent) factor in online shoe shopping whiles prices were ranked second at 24 percent. In 2016, better pricing was the top choice at 33 percent for online shoppers. Males prefer price (32 percent), convenience (30 percent) and more choices (16 percent) while females preferred convenience (36 percent), more choices (25 percent) and prices (19 percent).
  • Shoe Research: A plurality of shoppers (45 percent) are conducting their shoe research while shopping in stores, 32 percent are using retailer websites and only 3 percent are currently using social media like Facebook. A plurality of shoppers (45 percent) are conducting their shoe research while shopping in stores, 32 percent are using retailer websites and only 3 percent are currently using social media like Facebook.

The full report is HERE

Photo courtesy New Balance