How COVID-19 Is Changing the Holiday Shopping Season 



2020 has transformed consumers’ shopping needs, priorities, and expectations, and holiday shopping won’t be any exception. Given upended traditions and tighter budgets, according to Morning Consult, Americans are preparing for a holiday season that starts earlier, is more online, keeps budgets in check and raises more health and safety concerns than ever before. 


Nearly half (47 percent) of Americans plan to do most of their holiday shopping online, with 48 percent of those that do citing safety concerns as the primary reason why; convenience is the main reason for nearly a third (29 percent) and a preference for online shopping driven by increased usage in recent months is top for just over a fifth (21 percent). Thirty-one percent plan to roughly split their holiday shopping between online and in store while 27 percent plan to do most holiday shopping in stores. 


The most popular gift this year will likely be gift cards, according to Morning Consult, which reports that 48% of adults plan to buy or give gift cards this holiday season. 

Three times as many shoppers said they will spend most on gift cards versus the next-highest gift type (apparel, which 9% plan to spend most on). 


The combination of a struggling economy and a health pandemic will almost certainly impact holiday spending negatively this year: The share of U.S. adults planning to spend $300 or less on holiday gifts has increased by 9 percentage points while the share planning to spend more than $400 has declined by 8 percentage points. 


It’s important for brands to remember that 90 percent of Americans aren’t looking forward to this year’s holiday season (only 10 percent said they are). 


Still, only 5 percent of Americans think companies shouldn’t advertise this holiday season — though this nearly triples among Gen Zers, 14 percent of which are not in favor of companies doing holiday advertising.  


Americans are more likely to buy from companies whose ads either explain how they’re keeping shoppers safe or provide gift ideas, or those with realistic or optimistic ads. Serious or somber ads will most likely lead to net decreases in purchasing. 


Most Americans have pandemic-related concerns this holiday season. Delivery speeds are a concern for slightly more than half, but the good news for retailers is that time constraints around holiday shopping and finding gifts that won’t disappoint are not concerns for most shoppers. 


Recent Articles

President Pardons Federal Offenses for Simple Marijuana Possession

Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty you are free at last! President Biden on Thursday pardoned all people convicted of marijuana possession under federal law and said his administration would review whether marijuana should still be a Class 1 drug like heroin and LSD. The pardons will clear about 6,500 people who

Read More »

Top Products of 2022

EZJ Legendary Stash Boxes By EZJ For the true aficionado with discriminating tastes and a penchant for the handcrafted comes the Legendary Stash Box series from the maker of the now-famous EZJ rolling machine. Each unit is handcrafted from oak and pinion, upcycled untreated pallets and exotic hardwoods such as teak mahogany and perlotta, intricately

Read More »

Retailers Guide to Establishing an Annual Budget

Creating an annual budget is crucial to running a successful and profitable retail business. A budget helps you set both short and long term business goals and enables smart decision-making to achieve those goals. You’ll also be in a better position to proactively manage your finances, setting you up for profitability, sustainability, and exponential growth.

Read More »

Retailer Holiday Planning: 5 Tips to Drive Holiday Sales

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the busiest shopping season of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers in the U.S. spent $886.7 billion during the 2021 holiday season — and the total is expected to be even higher in 2022 as consumer demand continues to rise. With Black Friday, Small Business

Read More »

Gearing Up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

How to Make the Most of the Year’s Biggest Spending Frenzy Even before Black Friday became the biggest shopping day of the year, the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been a pivotal time for retailers. After all, the day after Thanksgiving signals the start of the Christmas shopping season. Eventually, retailers began offering

Read More »

Social Media

Most Recent

Are you 18 or older?