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Consumers Ready to Spend, Favor Local Retailers This Holiday Season Says Report

Image: Heidi Fin via Unsplash
While 63% of consumers found the holiday season last year to be more stressful than previous years, 59% feel optimistic about the upcoming 2021 holiday season.

New shopper sentiment and insights from Vericast reveal that consumers expect value, want to spend more, and plan to shop locally in-store this holiday season.

A recent online survey of 1,000 people found that holiday shopping is starting earlier this year due to shipping delays experienced with online shopping last year – 55% plan to shop in person as a result. More than half (60%) prefer to shop at local neighborhood stores and a majority (71%) of consumers agree it’s important to support local stores and restaurants.

While 63% of consumers found the holiday season last year to be more stressful than previous years, 59% feel optimistic about the upcoming 2021 holiday season. The survey also found that saving money on holiday purchases is a priority — especially as 30% of those who expect they will be spending more than last year are planning to buy more gifts to make up for the 2020 holiday season. Seventy-eight percent of consumers increased their saving behaviors during the pandemic and 84% plan to continue this trend over the next year. This is reflected in consumer holiday shopping plans, with 50% planning to use more coupons for holiday shopping.

“Last year, lockdowns made in-person shopping challenging. As the world began to open again, people were anxious to get back into their local stores and use online shopping to supplement certain items,” said Sarah O’Grady, Vice President of Brand Marketing at Vericast. “With the holiday season upon us, consumers want to make up for lost time after such a disruptive 2020. Retailers can capitalize on this by offering deals and discounts ­– online and in-store – that make holiday shopping more affordable and meets consumers where they are.”

The mix of a desire to gather this holiday season and economic strains caused by COVID-19 makes receiving a deal essential. From gift buying to party planning and eating out while shopping, the presence of a compelling offer may make the difference in whether consumers host a gathering, how much they spend, and which brands, products and stores they choose. Additional key takeaways include:

Savings are Key:

  • 53% of consumers agree they need better solutions to save more money on shopping
  • 59% wished there were more coupons available during the 2020 holiday season; this sentiment is even higher among millennials (68%) and parents (68%)
  • 49% agree they would shop online more if they could use more coupons
  • The categories people are most interested in receiving a discount, coupon or offer for this season include grocery (61%), restaurant (45%) and apparel (40%)

Spending on Holiday Gatherings Will Increase:

  • 74% believe hosting or attending holiday gatherings with family or friends will occur
  • 93% of those planning to host holiday gatherings say they will spend the same or more than last year (55% more / 38% same)
  • Among those who plan to spend more:
    • 37% will spend more to enhance the guest experience (e.g., more expensive food, décor, etc.)
    • 65% will be gathering more often or with larger groups of people

View an infographic of these findings here.