Shoppers are expected to spend on average about 4% more on holiday gifts than they did last year.  The biggest growth comes in online shopping, with a 13% increase.  LSU Marketing Professor Dan Rice says when it comes to the amount people are spending, on average, it is forecast to be over a grand.

“The average that has been thrown around it $1,100.  A little bit higher for men, a little bit lower for women based on the surveys that have been done so far,” said Rice.

Rice says a trend this year is seeing people start their shopping earlier.

“As many as 40% of the population starts to buy before the big sales and the traditional holiday season start.  As many as half of those starts even into September or earlier,” said Rice.

Rice says another trend on the rise is fraud, adding there are many vulnerabilities to keep in mind.

“Things like fake websites that may be trying to steal your credit card information or fake charging stations or people trying to go a little overboard on the public wifi and try to get into your phones or devices,” said Rice.

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