A recent Shopify-Gallup Holiday Shopping Pulse has revealed some encouraging insights for retailers, especially small business owners gearing up for the holiday season. This as the U.S. faces economic challenges such as rising interest rates and inflation,
The survey, conducted among 1,761 U.S. consumers, found that a whopping 74% of holiday shoppers plan to spend as much or even more on gifts this year compared to the previous year. Such steadfast consumer confidence points to a potentially lucrative season for businesses, both big and small.
With many consumers eager to avoid the late holiday rush, 41% anticipate beginning their holiday shopping by October’s end. However, it’s not all early birds, as 39% intend to wait until November, and a daring 20% are saving their shopping endeavors for December.
But there’s a distinct group leading the charge in holiday spending: Gen Z.
Gen Z: The Holiday Season’s Major Spenders
Adults aged 18 to 29, primarily Gen Z, are the most enthusiastic spenders this year, with 37% planning to outspend their last year’s budget. This number is nearly double the average across all age groups.
Notably, Gen Z is highly responsive to early holiday deals. A significant 48% said they would likely begin shopping earlier if retailers introduced holiday deals sooner. This suggests a strategic move for retailers: offer early promotions tailored to this age group. Furthermore, Gen Z is the leading demographic planning to shop via social media, with almost half making some of their purchases through these platforms.
Small Business Deals
A Boost for Small Businesses and Digital Platforms
The survey highlights a trend beneficial for small business owners: 23% of shoppers prioritize supporting small and local businesses over other retailers. This suggests a lucrative opportunity for small businesses to capitalize on promotions, especially with Small Business Saturday falling on November 25 this year.
Although brick-and-mortar stores remain a choice for many, online shopping is dominating the scene. A staggering 93% of consumers are set to buy some of their gifts online, with 47% indicating a majority, if not all, of their shopping will be digital.
Trending Products Offer Insights for Retailers
Analyzing sales data from Shopify merchants, some clear trends emerged as consumers transition from summer to fall purchases:
- Halloween Preparation: Costumes and masks saw sales surges of 262% and 60%, respectively.
- Home Decorations: Purchases of holiday decorations were up by 76% from August. Both holiday stocking and wreath sales saw near-double growth.
- Winter Essentials: Items like outerwear, scarves, and jackets have experienced a growth of over 50% since August.
- Tech and Toys: Sales for play vehicles soared by 178%, while phone and tablet accessories, such as tripods, surged by 225%.
With resilient consumer confidence and clear purchasing trends, this holiday season looks promising for retailers, especially small businesses. As they prep for the bustling sales period, businesses need to stay adaptable and tuned into evolving consumer preferences. With the right strategies, the sound of “cha-ching” might just become the season’s anthem for many.
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