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Shopper Trends|October 12, 2022

New from WSL: Winning Shoppers During Holiday Price Fright

Up to 25% of all shoppers plan to spend less on major holiday purchases this year, our latest How America Shops® survey shows. However, they don’t want to be Grinches about it. Many shoppers are trying to balance their budgets while finding ways to save the season. Here is how they plan to do it, and the underlying opportunities for retailers and brands.

The Holiday Spending Scaries Won’t End at Halloween

Shoppers plan to spend less on gifts, food and décor this entire holiday season, our September How America Shops® shopper survey shows. It will begin this month, with some scary Halloween predictions, but shoppers tell us they plan to work harder to squeeze their food and gift dollars through the holiday season. 

Here’s a holiday-by-holiday overview of the results from our shopper respondents: 


Shoppers Will Work Hard to Stretch Their Holiday Budgets

Here’s how shoppers plan to “save” the holidays:

  • Shoppers tell us they will browse early, creating a “soft” Black Friday. Top gift suppliers are already cooperating with Walmart, Target and Amazon, starting Black Friday specials online as early as October 8th in hopes of capturing dollars before the money runs out. However, 20% of shoppers said they will buy more in stores and resist the convenience of online shopping expressly to avoid shipping fees. 

    The Opportunity: Online retailers that can boldly promise the lowest prices, or bundle in other perks such as free warranties, may offset the sting of shipping fees for shoppers.
  • Shoppers will hold out for lower-priced gifts. In this season, less may come to be more. Shoppers plan to reduce spending on each gift, but will look for gifts that create happiness. Retailers that present affordable gift choices will win. 

    The Opportunity: Promote good values by playing up deals on name brands, hot style trends and social media-inspired themes.

Here’s the thing: After a year of spending more money of on milk, gas and pretty much all of life’s essentials, most shoppers accept that they will be spending more over the holidays this year. But they will not spend indiscriminately. Shoppers want to manage the scariness of our economic times by taking more control. Even if it takes more time. Work with them. 

WSL will be gathering and analyzing shopper sentiments about spending throughout the holidays and into 2023. To read our specific findings about how shoppers plan to save for the 2022 holidays, subscribers can access our How America Shops® report, “Shoppers Say: Inflated Prices are Here to Stay.”  

If you’re a non-subscriber and want to learn more, you can easily contact us online here.

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