Nearly half of consumers, 48%, plan to shop early for this holiday season, and the big reason is inflation, according to a Gartner Marketing survey.
Of the 306 consumers polled in July, 28% plan to spend less this holiday season and just 10% plan to spend more than in past years. Most of the consumers indicating they will spend more said it would be due to rising prices, according to a press release on the survey’s findings.
“While consumers have increased their discretionary spending in the past few years, inflationary pressure is impacting their spending plans for this holiday season,” Kassi Socha, director analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice, said in the release. “This hesitancy around budgets, coupled with new timing from consumers regarding their holiday shopping, will challenge marketers to have an always-on approach that will stress the need for omnichannel adoption.”
With inflation remaining top-of-mind for consumers, price (65% of respondents), value (53%) and free shipping (51%) were the top three factors amongst holiday shoppers for gift decision making this season.
The survey revealed consumers will overwhelmingly shop online this holiday season, with 21% planning to shop more online than in-store this year compared to 2021. Thirty-eighty percent of holiday shoppers plan to utilize one or more hybrid shopping services such as curbside pickup or same-day delivery. For shoppers focused on online shopping, free shipping is also a top consideration, while 26% are willing to pay for shipping if it guarantees or expedites on-time delivery.
“Retail digital marketing leaders who made investments into omnichannel digital offerings during the height of the pandemic will continue to experience growth as consumer adoption of these offerings rises,” Socha said in the release. “The online experience, whether driving to on-site check-out for delivery or driving store traffic, is critical for holiday shopping success.”