SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new independent survey found that U.S. consumers expect a vastly improved Holiday 2023 shopping experience over previous years, with the overwhelming majority gravitating to online retailers that can provide better deals, personalized offers, immediate delivery, greater product availability and reasonable returns policies. More price-conscious and discerning than ever, 80% of consumers will spend less on gifts this year with nearly 50% spending under $1,000.
The “2023 Holiday Shopping Trends Report,” announced today by Celigo, the leading integration platform as a service (iPaaS) for business and IT users, surveyed over 1,000 U.S. consumers nationwide about their Holiday shopping priorities and destinations, price and delivery preferences, previous Holiday shopping challenges, Black Friday and Cyber Monday plans and more. The survey revealed consumers are increasingly embracing the convenience and product availability of online and early shopping. According to the report, 75% of consumers will shop online for most of their Holiday gift needs, nearly 50% of respondents said they will begin shopping no later than October and 26% of consumers are bypassing Black Friday entirely.
“The lingering impact of inflation and COVID has made consumers even more value-conscious and discerning about their holiday shopping experience, therefore, retailers must be prepared to meet their demands right now,” said Mark Simon, VP of Strategy at Celigo. “Retailers can no longer deploy a generic, one-size-fits-all approach to Holiday shopping. Instead, they must make more personalized, value-driven offers that target specific consumers as well as guarantee immediate delivery, in-stock merchandise and reasonable returns policies. To do this successfully, they must automate key business processes and employ more granular customer segmentation.”
Many U.S. shoppers faced significant challenges when holiday shopping in previous years, especially in 2021 and 2022 as 45% were frustrated by higher costs for in-demand products and out-of-stock merchandise while 44% were angered by late deliveries. The survey also found that 53% of consumers will flock to independent retailers over giants like Amazon and Target because they seek highly desirable, readily available products.
In addition to better deals and an enhanced shopping experience, the survey also exposed other consumer priorities, including:
- 69% of shoppers expect retailers to provide more personalized offers in addition to good deals and cost savings this year.
- Consumers will forgo shopping with online retailers that do not provide fast delivery (53%), low or moderate prices (52%), customer-friendly returns policies (46%) or exceptional customer service (45%).
- Holiday shoppers of all ages value convenience over other factors such as cost and product availability. 78% of Baby Boomer shoppers said convenience is the number one reason they plan to shop more online. Late delivery was the top Holiday shopping challenge for Generation Z and millennial shoppers, which speaks to a younger demographic more accustomed to free next-day shipping and delivery.
- More than half of Gen X and 50% of millennial shoppers are shopping earlier for Holiday deals in September and October. Despite the long-standing tradition of door-busting Holiday sales, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are least important to Baby Boomers.
- Less than 14% of shoppers across all demographics are waiting until the last minute to start holiday shopping – most likely scorned by supply chain issues of years past.
"This survey data gives retailers greater insights into what shoppers truly want this Holiday season and beyond,” said Simon. “Now, they can make the right investments to automate and streamline their e-commerce operations to meet these evolving expectations both now and in the future.”
Data Shows Retailers Where to Prioritize, and Why
While this research identified the greater demands from shoppers who seek timely delivery, readily available products, and seamless checkout and return policies more than ever before, it also provided a valuable roadmap for retailers to address and meet these elevated expectations, including:
- Make personalized service a priority
- Meet customers where they are (especially on social media and search engines)
- Plan, forecast and manage inventory
- Make returns easy
- Boost e-commerce operations with automation
- Use AI and analytics to capture critical data insights into shopping behavior
Retailers must understand and respond to these shifting trends to effectively attract and retain customers during the peak season. By offering value-driven options, catering to diverse budget preferences, and providing a seamless shopping experience, businesses can position themselves for success this Holiday season and foster long-term customer loyalty.
To see the full report, visit Celigo’s website.
Celigo is the leading AI-driven integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS). At Celigo, we understand the evolving market and believe integration should be accessible to everyone in your organization. Our platform is built for both the line-of-business user and technical teams, promoting automation at every level of the business and enabling growth and innovation at scale. For more information, visit www.celigo.com. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.