Consumers with more time at home in front of a computer screen means an increase in searches for information and reviews about the products they plan to purchase this year for holiday gifts.
Market research agency Savanta, part of Next 15 Communications Group, recently conducted research around shopping plans for the holiday season with regard to COVID-19.
The research conducted online among a small sample of 500 U.S. adults between October 23 and October 26, shows a shift in consumer behavior, from the days consumers plan to shop to the types of
products they will buy and how much they will spend.
Research takes on a higher priority this year compared with past holiday seasons on sites ranging from Amazon, Bing, and Google, to brand and retail websites, and review sites.
Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok have entertained many with videos as people are stuck at home as a result of COVID-19, but these video sites also give consumers a place to research products and learn how to use them
Online purchases in the U.S. are forecast to jump 18% to $710 billion this year, according to eMarketer. Adobe predicts U.S. online holiday sales will reach $189 billion, breaking previous records with a 33% YoY increase.
Data from Savanta suggests 27% of the consumers plan to spend more this year compared to last on holiday shopping, while 42% plan to spend the same, and 32% plan to spend less.
Some 38% of U.S. consumers have already started holiday shopping, with 20% planning to shop for the holiday season before Thanksgiving, 26% plan to start after Thanksgiving and the traditional Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, and 16% plan to shop for the holiday season in December.
Savata’s data suggests 81% of U.S. consumers plan to shop during the promotional days in this holiday season. When it comes to online shopping, 70% of consumers said they are likely to shop on Amazon, while 58% of consumers are likely to shop online on a specific store’s website and 42% of consumers are likely to shop using a store's app on their smartphone
Before consumers begin shopping, many will research the products they plan to buy.
Savanta’s data found that 81% of consumers will research online before making
holiday purchases, 58% will research offline, 61% of consumers will research online retailers before making holiday purchases, and 37% will visit a store to research before making holiday
Some 34% of consumers indicate they will research products they want to purchase on the retailer's website or mobile app before making holiday purchase; 29% of consumers will consult family, friends, and colleagues; 25% will research the brand’s website and mobile app; 23% seek out website reviews; 21% will research on social media; 12% indicate they will listen for specific radio and TV ads, and 11% will seek out information in print media.
Which market segments will win consumer dollars this year with many consumers in the U.S. still working and recreating at home? Survey results estimate 60% of consumers plan to purchase clothing and accessories, 55% plan to purchase gift cards, 44% will purchase toys and items around hobbies, 43% cited electronics and accessories, 43% plans to food and beverages, 37% of consumers cited home and kitchen products, 27% named cosmetics this holiday season, 26% will purchase pet foods and treats, 26% cited health and wellness items, 17% plan to purchase digital content, and 17% plan to purchase home furnishing products.