Vericast, a leading marketing solutions company that delivers actionable insights and operational expertise at scale, recently commissioned an online survey of 1,000 people to gauge consumer sentiment and shopping behavior heading into this holiday season.
The survey found that holiday shopping is starting earlier this year due to shipping delays experienced with online shopping last year – 55% plan to shop in person as a result. More than half (60%) prefer to shop at local neighborhood stores and a majority (71%) of consumers agree it’s important to support local stores and restaurants.
While 63% of consumers found the holiday season last year to be more stressful than previous years, 59% feel optimistic about the upcoming 2021 holiday season. The survey also found that saving money on holiday purchases is a priority — especially as 30% of those who expect they will be spending more than last year are planning to buy more gifts to make up for the 2020 holiday season. Seventy-eight percent of consumers increased their saving behaviors during the pandemic and 84% plan to continue this trend over the next year. This is reflected in consumer holiday shopping plans, with 50% planning to use more coupons for holiday shopping.
“Last year, lockdowns made in-person shopping challenging. As the world began to open again, people were anxious to get back into their local stores and use online shopping to supplement certain items,” said Sarah O’Grady, Vice President of Brand Marketing at Vericast. “With the holiday season upon us, consumers want to make up for lost time after such a disruptive 2020. Retailers can capitalize on this by offering deals and discounts – online and in-store – that make holiday shopping more affordable and meets consumers where they are.”
The mix of a desire to gather this holiday season and economic strains caused by COVID-19 makes receiving a deal essential. From gift buying to party planning and eating out while shopping, the presence of a compelling offer may make the difference in whether consumers host a gathering, how much they spend, and which brands, products and stores they choose. Additional key takeaways include:
Savings are Key:
- 53% of consumers agree they need better solutions to save more money on shopping
- 59% wished there were more coupons available during the 2020 holiday season; this sentiment is even higher among millennials (68%) and parents (68%)
- 49% agree they would shop online more if they could use more coupons
- The categories people are most interested in receiving a discount, coupon or offer for this season include grocery (61%), restaurant (45%) and apparel (40%)
Spending on Holiday Gatherings Will Increase:
- 74% believe hosting or attending holiday gatherings with family or friends will occur
- 93% of those planning to host holiday gatherings say they will spend the same or more than last year (55% more / 38% same)
Among those who plan to spend more:
- 37% will spend more to enhance the guest experience (e.g., more expensive food, décor, etc.)
- 65% will be gathering more often or with larger groups of people
View an infographic of these findings here.
About the study
The study was fielded Aug. 3 through Aug. 14, 2021, in conjunction with a global, third-party market research firm with proficiency in internet surveys. The sample is nationally representative and was derived from an online consumer opinion panel, and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. The survey was closed once 1,000 completed responses had been reached.
Vericast is reimagining marketing solutions one business-to-human connection at a time. By influencing how over 120 million households eat, shop, buy, save and borrow, Vericast fuels commerce, drives economic growth and directly accelerates revenue potential for over 70,000 brands and businesses. While its award-winning portfolio of products, technology and solutions — including Illumis™, Household Connect™, Valassis Consumer Graph™ and Harland Clarke ChecksCX™ — are a piece of the Vericast story, its people are the true differentiators; trailblazers in data intelligence, marketing services, transaction solutions, campaign management and media delivery.