The hustle and bustle leading up to December 25th is usually driven by both excitement and stress. For some, there is much to prepare and plan, much to look forward to, much to buy, and much to celebrate. The typical holiday “much-ness” is now fraught with a stressor no one could have expected.
Now, the anticipation is filled with how much can I prepare, how much can I afford, what can I celebrate? For this reason CivicScience surveyed American adults on what their holiday shopping season (or lack thereof) looks like this year.
At this time last year, 21% of shoppers said they were making three quarters or more of their holiday purchases online. This year, that group increased to 36%.
It’s also worth noting the 45% increase in those who won’t be doing any holiday shopping, whether online or in a store.
Job loss and other financial burdens are all reasons to scale back spending during this usually busy retail season. The data indicate the majority of shoppers are going to try and stay within last year’s budget, but 37% say they will spend less (a 12% increase since 2019).
A similar number (30%) believe it’s less important to give gifts this year than last year.
And it seems that the only significant hesitancy to buy gifts this year comes from whether or not someone has a job. Ten percent of those still working and getting paid as usual actually believe it’s more important to give gifts this year. The same amount (10%) of people working reduced hours or with reduced pay believe gift-giving is more important this year. Regardless, reports that gift-giving is less important this year shows up across all employment situations.
Holiday travelers are the most likely sub-group of the population saying they will spend more money this year compared to last year, but there are also significantly less holiday travelers than usual. In a recent study, 2020 holiday travelers accounted for 16% of survey respondents while 21% admitted they usually travel but will not this year.
It is obvious that a huge percentage of holiday spending will be generated from online transactions this year. But there are also widespread groups of consumers across America who will limit their gifting and other expenditures because 2020 was a really difficult year overall.
The data show people are going to focus on staying safe and just relaxing this holiday much more so than gift-giving, following traditions, and even seeing friends and family.