The average person is expected to spend $804.42 on holiday gifts this year

The average person is expected to spend $804.42 on holiday gifts this year

An annual survey has found that US consumers plan to increase their spending this holiday season, with online sales set to take an even greater share of the prize than last year. 

According to the National Retail Federation's Holiday Consumer Spending Survey, conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average person will spend US$804.42 this year, up nearly 5% on last year's actual $767.27.

One of the more popular trends in recent years - self-gifting - will decline this year as shoppers opt to shift their budgets towards spending on others.

And 56% plan to shop online, up from 51.5% last year and the most in the survey's history. In addition, the average shopper is expected to do 44% of their shopping online. Meanwhile, 61.9% and 59.7% respectively intend to visit discount and department stores, while 36.7% will head to clothing or accessories stores.

As mobile grows in use and scope, 55.7% of smartphone owners are expected to use their device, up from 53.8% last year.

While four in ten respondents plan to start their holiday shopping before Halloween, 40.9% said they will begin in November, up slightly from 38.8% last year, and 15.5% will start in the first two weeks of December, flat with last year.

Although retailers have plenty of reasons to be optimistic this holiday season, NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said: "While not completely throwing caution to the wind, Americans' frugal spending habits will still be visible this holiday season as they continue to rely on discounts and sales and comparison shop.

"Consumers will put retailers to the test when it comes to the product mix and value companies can offer today's shopper who is focused on much more than just price."