Forecast: Shopping Will Be Robust for the 2021 Holiday Season.

December 9, 2021
Holiday Shopper with shopping bags

While many holiday shoppers have made their list, probably even checked it twice, that doesn’t mean they’ve done all the holiday spending they plan to do. From Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to Cyber Monday, there’s no shortage of deals out there for shoppers looking for a way to get all their holiday shopping done.

For many retailers, this is great news. However, as our recent research suggests, understanding holiday shopper behavior is a bit more nuanced than simply knowing the holiday shopping season will be active.

Holiday Shoppers Will Spend More and Shop Both Online and In-Store

One of the biggest boons to retailers this holiday season is the holiday spending consumers are prepared to do and where they are planning to shop. In fact, retailers might enjoy their most successful holiday shopping season ever as consumer demand rebounds from 2020. The National Retail Federation has forecasted holiday sales in November and December to grow between 8.5% and 10.5% over 2020, the highest on record.

We recently conducted a survey of 500 U.S. consumers to gauge their anticipated shopping behavior this holiday season, and our findings back up this prediction. Almost a quarter of those we polled plan to spend more this holiday season, shelling out $569 for gifts on average.

Both Online and In-Store Will Be Important

One might anticipate that, in a world emerging from the pandemic, holiday shoppers would rely upon online shopping. Despite the rapid growth of e-commerce over the last 18+ months, 78% of the consumers we polled plan to shop both in-store and online this Q4.

They will visit three to four retailers on average. In-store shoppers are most likely to go to Walmart (69%), Target (62%), and department stores like Kohls (39%), while those shopping online will turn to Amazon (91%), (53%), and (51%). For retailers, that means coordinating seamless, efficient holiday shopping experiences between online and offline channels will be critical.


When Holiday Shoppers Plan On Spending

People who have their shopping done by August have long been the envy of last-minute holiday shoppers everywhere. While consumers do seem to be shopping earlier and earlier, this year it may be a smart move considering supply chain issues are sparking shipping delays this holiday season.

Still, November remained the most common month for holiday shopping, with 67% planning to do most of their buying by Dec. 1st. After that, more shoppers had planned to grab gifts in December (21%) rather than October (10%). The hottest sales days remain Black Friday (71%), followed by Cyber Monday (69%) and Super Saturday (26%), so keep your brand top of mind among holiday shoppers.

Be Prepared for the Holiday Shopping Rush

Understanding consumer behavior can help your business plan its holiday season strategy, but it can and should be so much more than that. When you know when and where consumers are planning to spend their dollars, you can better understand how and where to place your product and when to entice holiday shoppers with deals and sales.

If you’re looking to get, and stay, ahead of the competition, reach out to our research team. Let’s start talking about how you can turn our research into the best holiday gift for your business.

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