Horizon is out with a new study that explores people’s attitudes and behaviors and the role of ecommerce heading into this year’s holiday shopping period versus a year ago before COVID-19 struck.
The study found that more people are considering community economic needs as they think about shopping versus the click-and-buy convenience and deals that venues like Amazon, Walmart, and Target offer.
More than half (56%) of those surveyed for the study said holiday shopping will help the economy, while 39% said buying items for the holidays keeps stores and delivery people employed. And 27% said they will purchase a product because it is made in the USA.
That said, self-care is also a priority, with 81% of respondents saying “today more than ever, self-care is a top priority,” while 29% are planning to treat themselves this season.
More than usual, messaging to holiday shoppers will be challenging, the study surmises. Planned spending levels are roughly in line with last year as consumers deal with the conflicting priorities of treating themselves but showing some love gift-wise for all the people they care for.
The survey found that men and Black shoppers over index in the self-gifting category this holiday season. Women and Whites under index.
But a number of groups admit to feeling guilty about putting themselves on Santa’s nice list, including Hispanics, who over index by 250% on the issue and the financially well off (240%).
COVID-19 has instilled some patience in shoppers, per the study. Slightly more than half (52%) of respondents say they are more patient waiting for deliveries than they were prior to the pandemic. On the flip side, slightly more Americans (54%) say they are worried about shipping delays this holiday season.” And, on the brand loyalty scale, speed of delivery is third-ranked behind “guaranteed lowest price” and “always free shipping and returns.”
But impatience is also driving new behaviors with a forecasted $58 billion of holiday ecommerce earmarked for so-called “click and collect,” or order online and pickup curbside at the merchant. That’s a 60% increase over a year ago. Just over half of shoppers intend to utilize click and collect this year and 23% agree that that approach is quicker than having ordered items delivered.
“Maintaining sanity during a stressful season after an already stress-filled year poses more challenges” for both shoppers and marketers, the study concludes. Brands that can help ease that added stress will be ahead of the game.