As we transition into the holiday season, holiday spending, shopping, and travel plans are beginning to take shape among many Americans. This year, inflation and supply chain concerns are leading to noticeable changes in consumer behavior and expectations. Here are a few leading insights from the CivicScience Consumer Holiday Tracker (linked at the bottom).

Shoppers continue to pace ahead.

As of September’s close, more than one-third of holiday shoppers are already in the process of holiday shopping. Early shopping has crept up year-over-year, climbing five percentage points from this time last year.

Supply chain disruptions are driving earlier shopping.

Supply chain concerns led to a record number of Americans starting their shopping earlier last year. This year, the supply chain is still top of mind, among other factors as well. Christmas shoppers who are concerned about shipping delays and product availability are much more likely to have already started their holiday shopping.

Holiday spending remains resilient.

Data indicate consumers are becoming more price-conscious, but overall, holiday shoppers don’t plan to spend less this year compared to last year. Just as many shoppers are anticipating spending more on the holidays as those expecting to spend less.

But shopping habits are shifting.

However, price-conscious spending is altering how people shop. For example, more shoppers are planning to shift their holiday spending toward discount stores (such as Walmart and Target) and away from small / local businesses where they may end up paying a premium.

Holiday travel sneak peek:

At a high level, all signs are “go” for holiday travel. Roughly the same percentage say they plan to travel this year as last year, but Americans are feeling more optimistic this year. Significantly fewer expect their travel plans to be impacted by the pandemic this year, which could be due in part to the latest COVID booster helping to fuel increased confidence.

Go deeper – get all the latest holiday insights by downloading the CivicScience Consumer Holiday Tracker.