When your customers are waiting to start their Christmas marketing, you may want to send out the notification: Christmas shopping is likely to start earlier this year.

When your customers are waiting to start their Christmas marketing, you might want to send out the notification: According to ShopKick, Christmas shopping is expected to start earlier this year. This is good news for your customers … and for you. There’s some other good Christmas shopping news here too.

With many families missing out on vacation traditions last year, many want to make up for lost time. In a survey of 23,000 consumers in July 2021, ShopKick found that 22% of shoppers plan to start their Christmas shopping earlier than last year. In addition, 43% plan to shop in-store (compared to 9% last year) and 81% say they will spend the same amount or more as in 2020.

Here are some other expectations that will affect how consumers shop – and marketers – market this holiday season.

  • 41% of consumers plan to shop more online. This means that more online offers are integrated into vacation offers. Online perks and free shipping / returns are the biggest perks. But 43% plan to shop in physical stores as well, 9% more than last year. Signage and messages promoting the benefits of in-store shopping (the ability to see, handle and try on products) will therefore be important.
  • 33% plan to spend less on frivolous purchases. Be sure to highlight both the practical and the lighthearted.
  • 31% plan to go on fewer shopping trips. This means that you will group your purchases in fewer retailers. So invest in promoting and retaining your best customers. Don’t risk losing them to “one-stop-shop” retailers like Target and Walmart (42% of respondents plan to do their Christmas shopping in these stores as they can buy it all at once).
  • 26% plan to support local stores more than usual and 15% plan to shop less in malls and large malls. Local companies can meet this expectation with marketing that plays with the theme of “shopping locally”. For artistic and one-off gifts, position yourself across from Etsy, where Gen Z and Millennials do much of their one-stop shopping.
  • 13% plan more BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store) than in the past. Stores that offer this service should keep promoting it.

According to the survey, 64% of consumers plan to spend roughly the same amount on Christmas shopping as they have in the past, but concerns about the financial impact of the pandemic still reverberate. More than half (52%) say the risk of persistent inflation will affect their spending, and 21% say they plan to spend less overall.

What influences what buyers want to buy? For 59% of consumers, inquiries from children, family members and friends are the most influential, but ShopKick found that rewards (39%) and weekly newsletters (30%) are also important factors. In fact, 78% of those who plan to start shopping earlier this year say sales and promotions are the top influencers. It is important when you start these promotions.

More than half of consumers (52%) plan to do the majority of their gift purchases between Thanksgiving and Cyber ​​Monday. Only 14% wait until after Cyber ​​Monday to complete their purchase. Millennials and GenZs are most likely to plan to take advantage of Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday deals.

43 percent of consumers say they plan to shop in-store this season, up 9% year over year. It is noteworthy that 70% of those planning to shop in-store do so in order to see, touch and try on products. For retailers offering an in-store try on, this could be an effective aspect of their marketing message. Something other than discounts to attract customers – what a win!

Although this survey was conducted prior to the surge in coronavirus cases due to the Delta variant, increasing vaccination rates could offset buyers’ concerns. As of this writing, more than half (53%) of the population of the United States was fully vaccinated, with many states having more than 60% of fully vaccinated residents and the percentage with at least one dose of vaccine reaching 70% or more. How this will play out over the Christmas season remains to be seen, but with national vaccination rates now increasing 0.1% per day – regardless of the Delta variant – it could be a very, very good season for both retailers and the PSPs who serve them.