By Karen Axelton

photo nyparty
If you haven’t captured as many holiday season sales from your customers as you hoped, maybe it’s not too late. A new survey by American Express, the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, sampled 2,005 adults in the general population as well as two subgroups — the affluent and young professionals. The results showed that many consumers are still not finished with their holiday shopping. In addition, they’re planning to spend fairly freely on holiday parties up to and including New Year’s Eve.

“There is still a lot of shopping and spending that will take place between now and end of year,” said Pamela Codispoti, American Express senior vice president and general manager, Cardmember Services. “The survey data shows that consumers will be spending on holiday gifts for loved ones and on celebrating with friends and family, but they are focused on doing that in very smart and savvy ways this year.”

Seven out of ten (69%) consumers plan to celebrate with friends or family during the holidays, and 90 percent say they will make purchases tied to these occasions. Affluents and young professionals will spend an average of $750 and $470, respectively, on products such as food and liquor. More than one-fourth (27%) of the general population and 54 percent of young professionals will also spend money primping themselves for holiday events. Forty-four percent of young professionals plan to buy new clothing for a holiday party, and 24 percent of affluents and 31 percent of young  professionals get their nails or hair done for an event.

Forty-five percent of consumers overall will attend holiday parties; of those, 68 percent will buy a hostess gift, spending an average of $35. The most popular hostess gifts are food, beverages, and home or kitchen items.

What does this mean to you? Consumers are focusing more on experiences, events and getting together with their loved ones this year, and are willing to spend money to make these occasions festive. It’s not too late for you to market your products and services to these celebratory consumers.