Shoppers are slimming their budgets for the holiday season amid concerns over the economy at large, and the holiday season will likely be shaped by savings, not splurges.
Shopkick, a shopping rewards app that recently surveyed more than 14,000 U.S. consumers to glean insight into holiday shopping forecasts and fare, found that 74 percent of holiday shoppers are tightening their budgets due to inflation and a looming recession, the company said, and that 63 percent of consumers expressed concern over gift affordability.
Eighty-five percent of consumers noted that price and budget would influence them the most when drawing up holiday shopping lists, as 65 percent of those surveyed said they feel less financially secure.
Brittany Billings, executive vice president of marketing and strategic markets at Shopkick, said, “As inflation continues to impact consumers’ budgets and fears around a potential recession linger, it is critical that brands provide value wherever possible because shoppers will be making trade-offs this year.”
“Offering deals and savings early – both in-store and online – should be a top priority, especially now that consumers are gearing up to tackle their holiday shopping earlier this year.”
The majority of shoppers will split their time between online and in-store, with 71 percent reporting they will utilize both, compared to 57 percent who planned to make the majority of their purchases online last year, the survey found. For those shopping in-store, 87 percent said they plan to purchase holiday gifts at big-box stores, followed by off-price retailers, 52 percent; department stores, 47 percent; and club stores, 39 percent.
Notably, of the 73 percent of consumers planning to shop at online-only retailers, 98 percent said that Amazon would be their primary shopping destination. Amazon aside, younger generations such as Millennials and Gen Z plan to shop at Etsy, while the Silent Generation will gravitate towards eBay, according to Shopkick.
Additional prevailing trends include a predilection for sustainability and shipping savvy. Forty-one percent plan to shop at fewer stores to minimize gas emissions; 31 percent said they would bring their own shopping bags in-store; and 20 percent plan to reuse gift wrap from last year. And almost all consumers, at 91 percent, said that free shipping is the most important incentive for online seasonal shopping.
Unsurprisingly, pandemic-influenced shopping flexibilities have stayed in favor, such as the option to include fast shipping (59 percent); flexible and extended return policies (42 percent); “buy now, pay later” (19 percent); and the ever-popular “buy online, pick up in store” (15 percent).