September 19, 2018

OpenX and The Harris Poll 2018 Holiday Survey Finds Strong Consumer Confidence in U.S. Economy Will Fuel Spending Surge As Consumers Plan Significant Shift Away From Retail Stores to Mobile Commerce

LOS ANGELES – September 19, 2018 – OpenX, the world’s largest independent advertising technology provider, today released the findings of a nationwide survey conducted in partnership with The Harris Poll looking at consumer shopping ahead of the 2018 holiday season. The study found that the majority of consumers believe the economy is doing better today than it was a year ago, and 75 percent say it will improve over the next year.  The strong consumer confidence metrics should translate at the cash register this year with more than 80 percent of consumers planning to spend the same or more on gifts this holiday season than they did in 2017.

This year’s report also found that the way in which shoppers consume content, research products and ultimately make purchases will undergo significant change, highlighting the challenges brand marketers face reaching and engaging consumers in today’s highly fragmented media environment.

Consumers are spending their time on a variety of different devices, and specific highlights from the report include:

  • 55 percent of consumers are on their smartphones for at least three hours a day, and more than a third of millennials and one out of four parents spend 6+ hours on their smartphones daily.
  • 25 percent of consumers watch no live TV.
  • Millennials spend 5X more time on a mobile device than watching live TV.

As content consumption habits shift further online and into mobile, shopping habits are shifting as well, and it is more important than ever to build omnichannel engagement programs that meet consumers where they are watching content, and where they are choosing to make their holiday purchases. With consumers taking greater control over when, how and where they shop, mobile and digital shopping have now reached parity with in-store shopping and consumers plan on spending nearly an identical amount in-store and online

Millennials and individuals making more than $100k year both over index towards digital and plan to do more total shopping online than in a physical location, and millennials and parents are inclined to shop from their mobile devices, with both groups expecting to make about one-quarter of their purchases on mobile devices.

“Consumers are confident and plan to spend this holiday season,” said Dallas Lawrence, Chief Brand Officer at OpenX. “The big changes we see this year involves how shoppers consume content and how they plan to spend their holiday dollars. The shift away from traditional television content to mobile is fueling a strong surge in mobile holiday shopping this year. Whether it’s the 1 out of 4 consumers who now make mobile purchases weekly from bed at night or the 10 percent who are now using smart speakers to help research holiday purchases, consumers are shopping in new and unique ways, relying on mobile in particular, and advertisers that have developed smart omni-channel strategies to reach the always on shopper will have the happiest holiday returns.”

The survey also highlighted changing consumer perceptions around key shopping events like Black Friday. Less than half of consumers believe Black Friday is the best day to get deals, and many consumers have strong negative associations with the day, with 60 percent finding it overwhelming.  Most consumers say they plan to skip what has traditionally been the biggest shopping day of the year all together in 2018.

The full study from OpenX and Harris contains additional info on topics like how much consumers are planning on spending this year, what items they are looking to buy, when people start planning their holiday shopping and more. To download the full report, visit

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of OpenX from August 30 to September 6, 2018 among 2,021 adult holiday shoppers.


About OpenX

OpenX powers highly relevant advertising at global scale, delivering quality and value to brands, publishers and consumers across every type of connected screen and ad format. The company’s leading technology aggregates, curates and values consumer interest in real time on one of the world’s largest and highest quality ad exchanges to ensure marketers reach exactly the audience they want. OpenX serves more than 30,000 of the world’s most recognized brands, more than 1,200 publishers and more than 2,000 premium mobile apps.

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is a global consulting and market research firm established in 1963 to help support decision making among leaders. Harris work with clients in three primary areas; crafting brand strategy, building corporate reputation, and earning organic media through public relations research. To learn more, visit