PwC expects to see consumers spend an average of $1,430 on gifts, travel and entertainment this holiday season — compared to the $1,447 they spent last year.
Budgets are top of mind as consumers plan their spending this holiday, and according to PwC’s survey of more than 4,000 consumers taken in July 2022, many have already started to cut back on dining out, apparel and streaming services as a way to stretch spending over a longer period. Overall, a majority of survey respondents (74 percent) said they plan to spend the same or more this holiday season as they did last year.
Notably, 35 percent of shoppers told the company they plan to spend more this year than last holiday. These consumers are largely high-earning young shoppers and tend to be males living in metropolitan areas who plan to spend more on family as well as themselves this year.
Millennials are also coming out as the leaders in holiday spending this season with a predicted spend of $1,823 average, compared to Gen Z’s $1,104 average, Gen X’s $1,594 average and Boomer’s $1,199 average. When breaking down how budgets will be spent, Gen X will spend the most on family with a predicted average of $889 compared to an average of $733. Millennials, however, will spend more than other generations on pets with a predicted average of $108, compared to a $63 average across all consumers.
PwC’s report also highlights Millennials as being more brand-loyal in their shopping than any other generation. Six in 10 Millennials belong to a customer loyalty program and 66 percent have a brand or retailer credit card, which influences 77 percent in online browsing and 79 percent in in-store shopping. For retailers, the company notes the importance of keeping Millennials loyal, which means providing the customer experience they seek including the “combination of speed and convenience at the right price from a relatable brand that lines up with their values.”
As all consumers determine where and how to shop this holiday, 93 percent said “trust” is top of mind — a staggering increase over the 70 percent reported pre-pandemic. After trust, factors that consumers considered to be “very important” included purchasing from local producers and stores, sustainable retailers and socially or environmentally responsible brands.
While price remains the biggest factor in holiday spending, only 20 percent of consumers told PwC they plan to shop on Black Friday this year. Instead, 74 percent of respondents said they are waiting for the best deals before they begin shopping, which, admittedly, they don’t expect to see until November.
The preferred method of payment for overall consumers was revealed as debit cards. Buy now, pay later platforms will also be key for some shoppers with 13 percent planning to use the flexible payment method, up from just 5 percent last year.