Consumers altered their buying plans in the three-month period between August and November of this year, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, judging by a pair of studies by AKi Technologies, conducted with TapResearch.
In August, 33% expected to spend more on the holidays this year than they did in 2019. In November, that percentage had jumped to 38%.
But it depends on the income level: 41% of those with over-median income were likely to spend more, versus 28% of shoppers who were under the median.
Among the lower earners, 46% expected to spend less, compared with 34% of the more prosperous consumers. And 27% of the less affluent planned to spend the same, as did 25% of those with higher income.
Overall, 57% said they would maintain or expand their spending, so while “the outlook might be negative, it’s not quite apocalyptic,” the study notes.
Much of this shopping will be done online, not in brick-and-mortar stores. In August, only 14% expected to do 75% or more of their holiday shopping online. By November, that percentage had grown to 20%.
But people will still enter stores, although the percentage has fallen from 77% in August to 75% in November.
Yet while 43% of previous Black Friday shoppers planned to skip the event this year, 39% said they don’t see online as an alternative to the in-store experience on that day.
Meanwhile, there will be less in-person celebrating — in August, 44% believed they would see fewer people during the holidays, but that percentage changed to 62% in November.
AKI and TapResearch polled 3,000 people in August and 500 in November.