2022 Holiday Insights Survey: Shoppers Share Their Spending Plans
Going into the 2022 holiday season, brands are dealing with a mixed Santa bag of factors and questions that may affect their sales. Big questions, like:
- How will remnants and ramifications of COVID-19 affect holiday spending?
- What about labor shortages? Lingering supply chain issues?
- Ecommerce and social media influence on shopping is growing exponentially, how does my brand respond?
- Recent U.S. inflation has severely affected our sales already—what’ll happen in Q4?
Although your first thoughts toward these questions may be down-trending holiday season—spending around the holidays is predicted to be up and to the right. According to Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast, sales are expected to increase between 4 and 6 percent, which isn’t as big a jump as recent years past, but still positive.
But, what are shoppers actually planning on spending their hard-earned dollars on? In the insights to follow, we’ll address some of the most important gift-giving statistics for your brand’s 2022 holiday planning that’ll have you singing along to “White Christmas.”
- Top gift items for children this year.
- The rise of online shopping and ecommerce.
- Importance of Ratings & Reviews to product success.
- Brick and mortar preferences for the holidays.
2022 Holiday Insights Survey: Shoppers Share Their Spending Plans for Upcoming Festivities
To understand the 2022 shopper perspective, we surveyed 1,200 U.S. adults* through the Field Agent platform, September 9-12. Specifically, we wanted to learn more about their shopping intentions for buying gifts for children this holiday season.
*All survey respondents were U.S. adults at least 18 years of age and smartphone owners. The survey was executed through the Field Agent platform, September 9-12, 2022, with a non-random sample of shoppers. Demos: Gender - Female (53%), Male (47%), Age - 18-29 (11%), 30-39 (42%), 40-49 (34%), 50+ (13%); Household Income - < $35K (13%), $35-49K (14%), $50-74K (19%), $75-99K (18%), $100K+ (28%); Race/Ethnicity - Caucasian/White (68%), Latino/Hispanic (13%), African American/Black (12%), Native American (2%), Other (2%).
What gift items are people buying for their children?
Inflation or not, 99% of shoppers who have children said that they would be buying presents in some capacity this holiday season.
For toy, clothing, and electronic brands, this is a crucial time of year for sales—63% of shoppers said that they’d be putting presents under the tree from those specific categories. While parents and caretakers can easily take a peek at their children’s letters to Santa, brands have a more difficult time discerning what shoppers will buy.
According to shoppers purchasing gifts for girls (that are under 18), they’re planning to wrap gifts from the arts/crafts category, along with games/puzzles and dolls.
We asked the same question to those planning to purchase gifts for boys (also under the age of 18), and there’s a common denominator between the boys and girls: games/puzzles in the ranking for top three gifts. Though for boys, building blocks/sets and outdoor toys follow closely behind.
Plus, shoppers had the chance to write-in an open answer to what their children specifically wanted for Christmas, and the top answers were LEGOs, toys, a Nintendo Switch, and dolls. But we couldn’t leave you without some honorable mentions that made our team smile—a new baby brother or sister, real dinosaur eggs, “all the toys,” and a pet snake. Good luck with those.
How are shoppers planning to incorporate online shopping to their holiday plans?
The online shopping and ecommerce landscape has drastically changed the way brands and retailers position themselves for success year-round. Further, the line is continuing to blur between online shopping and social media—platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok have purchase options directly on their apps.
Our survey actually indicated that two out of three shoppers (65%) would purchase a gift this year with a buy button or direct link from a social media platform. This isn’t surprising, as we’ve witnessed social media companies continue to grow and expand. And according to a recent Facebook study, two-thirds (66%) of global shoppers say their mobile device has become their most important shopping tool.
“People have come to expect those same moments of connection and excitement online that they previously could only experience by walking through the doors of a brick-and-mortar store,” shared Ali Hersh Pace, the North America Luxury & Retail Lead at Facebook.
Insider Intelligence forecasts that in 2022, global ecommerce sales will pass $5 trillion for the very first time, accounting for more than a fifth of overall retail sales. So the real question for this holiday season—how likely are shoppers to buy toys and gifts for children online or through an app? 97% of shoppers say they are likely to purchase from an online retailer.
But which app or website matters the most; how do you decide which one to place the majority of your dollars and time? Unsurprisingly, Amazon took the cake but shoppers indicate their ecomm spend is on the rise for Walmart and Target.
As you perfect your product pages, ads for ecommerce, and digital marketing strategies—don’t forget about the arguably most important aspect: Ratings & Reviews.
What is the importance of boosting my ratings and reviews for the holidays?
“I always look for the reviews. If the reviews are bad, I won't buy.”
“The most important consideration for me is good reviews.”
It’s no secret that quality Ratings & Reviews are necessary to the success of your product. When it comes to holiday shopping, it’s even more significant. Oftentimes, gifts bought around the holidays are a one-time purchase—not recurring or habitual—and shoppers understand the gravity of making the right decision, the first time.
Right behind the best price point (which will always reign supreme) is quality Ratings & Reviews—even if the shopper is preparing to buy your product in store! But if they’re planning on doing both the shopping and purchasing from the comfort of their home, Ratings & Reviews become that much more accessible and necessary.
In today’s economy, even the underdog can siphon sales from known brand names if they have better Ratings & Reviews and product photos/videos. It’s not just any reviews that’ll have your viewers clicking “add to cart,” though. They need to be relevant, positive, and descriptive. Plus, it always helps to have a verification of purchase.
4 out of 5 purchases will still come through brick and mortar stores, though—and your team needs to be decking the halls to host the bulk of holiday spending.
How are sales at brick and mortar retailers going to be affected through Q4?
Don’t get us wrong, online shopping and ecommerce have boomed in the past few years—and it’s definitely a factor that you and your brand need to contend with when planning for the winter months. However, brick and mortar stores are still favored, with the popular vote of 68% of shoppers saying that they plan on visiting 3 or more stores during the 2022 season to purchase gifts.
That number has steadily increased since the pandemic—more shoppers are willing to brave the traffic and potential out-of-stocks due to supply chain issues for the chance to do their shopping in-person. Most say they plan to hit Walmart, Target, Best Buy, and Sam’s Club for toy gifts for their children.
No matter the retailer, the consensus is clear: holiday shopping will boom in 2022 with items on-shelf versus online. When shoppers head to the store to grab ingredients for their Thanksgiving dinner, adhesive strips to hang their Christmas lights, or fuzzy slippers to keep the cold at bay—65% of shoppers are likely to make unplanned, impulse purchases around the holidays. That means your product’s displays, pricing, and on-shelf availability have to be up to snuff.
Remember those daunting questions at the beginning of the article? Here are a few more exciting ones to help bring the holiday spirit to your brand: how do you make the most of shoppers starting to stream back into stores? How can you cash in with today’s ecommerce boom? What are quick ways to win with shoppers and retailers?
- Give your Ratings & Reviews a lift.
An incredible 94% of shoppers read online ratings and reviews before making purchases, and the holiday season is no exception. Our Ratings & Reviews are dependable, Walmart-approved, and quick. The average time between start of project and first review? 1.4 days.
- Ensure your displays are up to par.
1-in-3 people say in-store displays/signage were “extremely” or “very” effective at persuading them to try a new product, and 81% said at least moderately effective. But what if your displays are just sitting in the backroom and never get set up? Or they don’t have accurate pricing information? Don’t let sales and shoppers slip through your fingers during the holidays because of poor execution. See what your customers see and ensure your displays spread Christmas cheer.
- Utilize user-generated content on social media.
Grow brand awareness and up your holiday sales with authentic social media content. Now, you don’t have to “wait and hope” for user-generated content to flood the feeds, you can pave the way for it. Get your product into the hands of real shoppers, and get word of mouth awareness with product-experience feedback.