In one of its most recent consumer surveys, flexible payments and retail services provider Klarna said while this year’s holiday shopping season kicked off earlier, “the shopping season isn’t ending earlier.” Researchers at the company said 89 percent of respondents “say they still haven’t finished up their holiday shopping yet, for reasons including not being able to find the right gifts and holding out for better sales/deals.”
Klarna said this is a 25 percent year-over-year increase in last-minute shoppers.
Another standout in the survey was the impact of supply chain issues and stockouts. Klarna said while stockouts have impacted one in five shoppers, “the majority are not concerned about having a gift in time for the holidays — in fact, 42 percent of shoppers expect to purchase some holiday gifts after Christmas is over, with 62 percent saying they plan to shop sales between [Dec. 25 to 31].”
Raji Behal, U.S. head of partner success at Klarna, said what’s “particularly surprising among these down-to-the-wire consumers is that their priority when shopping isn’t delivery deadlines and ensuring that they just have something to give in time for the holidays — it’s finding the perfect gift for their loved ones.”
“In fact, not having found the ‘right’ gift yet (40 percent) is the top reason cited among consumers who haven’t completed their purchases yet this season,” Behal said. “For retailers, this means there’s a nice opportunity to market their products toward this intentional sentiment and try to help shoppers find the right gift. Retail apps are more often (24 percent) consulted for shopping inspiration than social media influencers (19 percent) for these last-minute buyers.”
Regarding the holiday shopping extending out past Dec. 25, Behal said shoppers are likely taking advantage of after-Christmas sales. “Consumers are shopping smarter and are more mindful of how they are paying and budgeting; they are conscious of rising prices and want to take advantage of better sales and deals,” Behal explained, noting that 72 percent of shoppers planning to shop after [Dec. 25] say that they are looking to find a bargain, and 39 percent are doing so because the items they are looking for have been too expensive.
“Continuing to offer strong sales, as well as smarter, more flexible payment options, will be critical for retailers looking to meet the demands of consumers during this post-Christmas holiday period,” Behal added.
Other key findings of the report include that despite COVID-19 uncertainties, “in-store shopping is also popular,” Klarna said. “Of shoppers who will be purchasing gifts within two weeks of Christmas, over one third (33 percent) plan to do the majority of their shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, and 53 percent will do at least half in-store.”
And in regard to what’s hot this year, electronics and gift cards top the charts. Klarna found that 77 percent of last-minute shoppers “are looking to purchase physical products for their remaining holiday gifts, with electronics (21 percent) and apparel (18 percent) being the most popular product categories” while 55 percent will buy gift cards.