New Consumer Research on the Increasing Importance of Digital & How the Holiday Shopping Season Is Shaping Up
To help retail brands understand consumer expectations and prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season, Service Management Group (SMG) collected feedback from nearly 10,000 consumer respondents. Here are three key themes that emerged from the research:
1) Financial concerns are looming. Although 58% of respondents are concerned about their financial situation because of the pandemic, 59% of respondents indicated they plan to spend about the same on holiday gift shopping as they did last year, and 20% indicated they plan to spend more. To quantify holiday spending, respondents were asked how much they plan to spend: 47% of respondents plan to spend $499 or less on holiday gifts, whereas 24% plan to spend more than $1,000.
2) Value will be key this shopping season. Despite the ongoing financial concerns created by the pandemic, 91% of respondents plan to shop for others this holiday season, with 31% of respondents shopping for 10 or more people. When asked about the most important factor when deciding where to shop for holiday gifts, nearly one-third of respondents chose value for the money (32%), followed by selection of merchandise (14%), and convenience (12%). The four most popular types of gifts selected were clothes (63%), gift cards (56%), electronics (51%), and toys (49%). The least popular gifts were experiences (16%), fitness (12%), and automotive (8%).
3) Holiday shopping will start early and be dominated by digital. When you consider the double-digit growth of digital holiday sales in 2019 and how the pandemic is affecting the in-store experience, it’s not surprising that 3 in 4 respondents plan to do most of their holiday shopping online this year. When asked to compare the timing of their holiday shopping with last year, 42% of respondents said they’ll start shopping earlier. With 61% of respondents planning to do most of their shopping before Thanksgiving, we found just 15% of respondents plan to stock up on Black Friday and only 7% plan to take advantage of Cyber Monday. When we compare the timing of the two groups of shoppers, 62% of online shoppers plan to start shopping earlier, whereas 44% of in-store shoppers indicate they’ll take advantage of Black Friday sales or do most of their shopping in December.
“While the pandemic will certainly affect retail’s most important quarter, it’s reassuring to see the vast majority of consumers still plan to shop this holiday season,” said SMG Senior Vice President of Research Paul Tiedt. “Brands that take the time to understand evolving consumer preferences, online shopping behavior, and trip motivators will be well-positioned this holiday season.”
Service Management Group is global customer, patient and employee experience management partner to more than 500 brands. To learn more visit www.smg.com, or contact Paul Arnhold at 816-448-4517 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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