Except For Gen Z, Consumers Are Shopping Early This Holiday Season

Here’s some input for email teams trying to guess how customers are planning to shop this holiday season. 

Of all consumers, 59%  are not waiting for the usual promotional shopping holidays and its associated deals and are shopping early. Indeed, 79% of people aged 60+ say, “I shop anytime,” according to Secrets of the 2021 Shopper, a study by Brooks Bell. 

Black Friday will be the main day for ages 18-29 (76%) and 30-44 (68%). These groups will also dominate Cyber Monday. 

However, 44% of the 18-29 cohort and 51% of the 30-44 group are also likely to shop anytime. 

Spending in-store will grow significantly for 11% and by a little more for 21% over last year. And will remain the same as last year for 44%.  Buying online and picking up-in-store BOIPS will see a large increase by 8%, a little more for 17% and the same as in 2020 for 43%. 

Personalized recommendations are especially important for 13% in the 18-29 demographic — the most of any group. 

Why do people prefer to shop online? They say: 

  • I want to check reviews before buying — 21% 
  • Stores might not have what I want in stock — 18%
  • It’s faster than buying it in person — 16% 
  • It’s too much trouble going to the store — 15%
  • Online pricing is typically cheaper — 14% 

And the attractions of shopping in-store?

  • I want to test out/touch the product—45% 
  • I enjoy the experience of visiting a store—13% 
  • I want to consult with sales associates—9% 
  • I don’t want to pay for shipping—8%
  • The store is close by—6% 

“We’re facing another unprecedented holiday season — when, how and why customers are buying gifts looks different than it did even one year ago,” concludes Suzi Tripp, VP of insights at Brooks Bell. 

Tripp adds that while “bringing online conveniences to the in-store experience is more of an uphill battle, understanding the psychology behind those preferences can identify opportunities to get a little closer.”


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