Slowly but surely, the sun is setting earlier and September will be here come this Friday. For some Americans, this means it’s time to think holiday shopping as we sit 87 days (as of this publishing) until Black Friday. But just how many consumers are thinking ahead this year and what does early bird holiday shopping look like so far in 2023?

The latest CivicScience data for August show that 44% of consumers are already thinking about holidays, though that percentage is down four percentage points from August 2022. The percentage of those who have already begun shopping for the holidays has also experienced a slight drop to 30% (down from the 32% reported in August 2022). This decline is led by Millennials, as they are four percentage points less likely this year to say they’ve started their holiday shopping. Gen Z adults also declined by two points.

Online Shopping Primed to Rise

Online shopping has an ever-increasing role to play when it comes time for Americans to make their holiday lists and check them twice. Fresh CivicScience polling of holiday shoppers finds only 13% plan to do all of their holiday shopping in person this year, down five percentage points from August 2022. On the flip side, 44% intend to shop online for over half of their holiday purchases, a four-point bump from last year. More than 1-in-5 shoppers will shop online for at least 75% of their purchases. 

Examining holiday shopping plans by customers of major retailers finds that 44% of Target shoppers, 43% of Kohl’s shoppers, and 39% of Walmart shoppers each plan to do more than half of their holiday shopping online this year. 

Saving Money Remains a Key Priority

When it comes to deciding where consumers will shop for the holidays, cost savings remains the leading factor swaying that decision – close to one-third say ‘deals and promotions’ are most important for them, a slight increase over 2022. ‘Free shipping’ rounds out the top two most important factors among the Gen Pop, while concerns over product availability (thanks to easing supply chain issues) fell to 18%. 

Gen X in particular appears to be placing a greater emphasis on deal hunting this year as 38% say deals and promos are most important to them, up four percentage points from last August.

Given the emphasis on bargain hunting, and with retailers looking to compete with Amazon’s Fall Prime Day with sales events of their own, the next two months could make for an enticing time to check off the holiday shopping list.

Want to unwrap more consumer insights as the 2023 holiday season approaches? Get in touch to see how the CivicScience InsightStore can help you take a deeper dive into consumer insights.