Holiday shopping this year may be back to normal
A new international survey from Bazaarvoice sees consumer spending stabilizing.
Most consumers are planning to spend the same on holiday gifts as last year while only 15% plan to spend more. Based on a survey of 6,000 consumers from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia, and Canada, Bazaarvoice finds more consumers shopping online than pre-pandemic, but consumer behavior otherwise returning to normal.
The UGC-for-e-commerce platform does report that shopping is happening earlier, perhaps signifying consumer concern about timely deliveries. 38% say they plan to shop earlier and 27% say they have started shopping already. Only 11% plan to put shopping off until December.
The number of consumers planning to visit brick and mortar locations for shopping has dropped by about 8% from pre-pandemic levels, while the number planning to shop online has increased by 9%. Given the lifting of lockdowns across many locations, this is a further indication that the boost to online shopping is likely to be permanent.
There’s also likely to be a small increase in purchases of “experiential” gifts — concert and theater tickets, travel and personal services like massage — as restrictions lift.
Why we care. Following the massive changes in all kinds of behavior we saw in 2020, with record-breaking online shopping during the holiday season, we’re watching closely to see whether things level off in 2021.
Some clear messages to marketers, though. If you haven’t set out your holiday offerings yet, you’re already behind. Consumers want to make decisions early this season — and if you are over-promising on availability and delivery times, just don’t. Transparency wins repeat business.