It is evident that the current economic environment is largely shaping consumer behavior and spending, and there is no exception when it comes to holiday shopping. At the end of last month, inflation and supply chain issues took the forefront for many holiday shoppers. While these issues are still influencing holiday shopping habits, consumers are less concerned about product availability and more concerned about deals and prices.

Check out these three key insights from our Consumer Holiday Tracker (linked at the bottom):

1. Holiday shopping progress is significantly affected by the level of concern about inflation.

The CivicScience Holiday Tracker shows that nearly 3-in-5 consumers who haven’t started their holiday shopping are very concerned about inflation, compared to 2-in-5 shoppers that have already begun. This could mean that shoppers are taking more time for budgeting and planning. 

2. There’s a stark difference between shoppers that are financially better and worse off.

Cost concerns are even more prevalent among those who are financially worse off now than at the same time last year — they are more than twice as likely to say they’re purchasing fewer gifts this year compared to last year (49%) than those who stayed the same financially or are better off. 

On the other hand, more than a third of shoppers who are financially better off say they’re purchasing more gifts this year. 

3. The importance of deals and promotions is even more significant now, up 3 points since early October.

Since rising prices are leaving retailers with limited demand and excess inventory, product availability is now less of a concern for holiday shoppers. Unsurprisingly, prices and deals are much more important to consumers – this category saw a three percentage-point increase from the beginning of October.

These factors are particularly important because they will influence the type of retailer holiday shoppers will patronize (discount stores, specialty stores, etc.).

Want to see more insights, including when consumers plan to finish their shopping, which retailers shoppers will be hitting up the most, and who’s traveling over the holiday season? Let’s chat – CivicScience clients receive the full version of the Consumer Holiday Tracker leading up to the holiday season, and you can download an overview of the tracker here