Consumers plan to spend an average of $691 this holiday season, less than last year’s anticipated holiday spending. With the coronavirus pandemic affecting consumer spending, the number of those planning to spend the same amount they did last year declined by 11 points compared to last year.

Consumers will look to take advantage of deals when it comes to their holiday shopping this year, with free shipping be a primary motivator, according to The NPD Group. Insights from NPD’s annual holiday purchase intentions study reveal that free shipping was identified as the number one factor influencing where consumers decide to shop this holiday season.

“Consumers plan to do more of their holiday shopping online this year, and this includes shipping gifts to family and friends with whom they won’t be able to celebrate in person this year,” says Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry advisor, retail. “The addition of shipping fees to all of these deliveries is a bigger financial burden on consumers than getting the best deal on the item itself.”

Concern about the state of the economy is a contributing factor to consumers’ spending intentions. 57% of shoppers view the state of the economy poorly (up from 37% last year), and 30% say they will spend less because of the state of the economy (up from 23% in 2019). Despite that, 29% of consumers will spend more because they have fewer expenses this year in terms of travel, dining out and other experiences.

“Through much of 2020, retail spending as a whole has not seen the big declines expected, pointing to the consumer’s willingness to spend despite economic uncertainty,” says Cohen. “This year consumers appear to have more interest in ‘retail therapy’ and an aspiration to return to normalcy. We also know that, historically, consumers are pre-conditioned when it comes to holiday shopping behaviors, which means even the best promotions won’t drastically alter the core trends of the season.”