SEPTEMBER 16, 2020—CHICAGO—An overwhelming majority of US consumers will not let uncertain market conditions stop them spending this holiday season. This is just one of the key insights from the latest consumer survey from PowerReviews, a leading provider of ratings and reviews and solutions to improve consumer engagement and customer experience.
But consumers will spend earlier and be much more focused on buying products online, with price and customer reviews being the two most critical factors driving their purchase decisions, followed by ease and speed of shipping.
The PowerReviews Holiday Consumer Survey draws on insights from more than 5,000 active consumers across the country, surveyed in August 2020. Key findings include:
- Overall spending levels will be in line with previous years
- Almost three-quarters of consumers (73%) said their overall holiday spending will either stay the same or increase this year.
- Price and customer reviews will drive purchase decisions
- Consumers say pricing (87%), existing customer reviews (70%), shipping costs (68%) and ease/speed of shipping (60%) will be the most important factors affecting gift purchase decisions.
- Holiday shopping will start earlier than usual
- Around a quarter of consumers say they will start holiday spending earlier than they typically do. Most significantly, around 4 in 10 of those who say they will spend more this year than last will start shopping early.
- Huge shift to online shopping
- Online shopping volumes look set to be the highest of all time: 64% say they will spend more online than last year.
- Consumers are not discounting the store
- Despite the surge online, some consumers will still do holiday shopping in stores — 30% say they are not concerned about visiting stores.
- Blended cross-channel purchase methods will be a big deal
- Buy Online Pickup in Store (BOPIS) and omnichannel has been trending for years now. But this holiday will be seminal for these shopping models. In fact, 55% of consumers in our survey say they will use curbside pickup more this year than they did last.
- Big spenders
- Almost four in ten 18-24 year olds say their spending will increase this year compared to last — a significantly higher proportion than any other age grouping. Consumers in Arkansas, Alabama and Louisiana had the highest percentage of respondents expecting to spend more this year than last.
Carol Krakowski – Director, Insights at PowerReviews, says:
“Almost three-quarters of consumers (74%) said their overall holiday spend will either stay the same or increase this year. This is perhaps surprising given the shape of the overall economy. However, it proves there are significant opportunities for brands and retailers to generate revenue this holiday season.
“As they have been all year, eCommerce volumes will be higher than they’ve ever been this holiday shopping season. A way more significant proportion of spending than usual will take place online. Brands and retailers need to be ready for and expect this.
“Price will impact purchase decisions more than any other factor — our survey shows around nine in ten consumers said it would have an influence. Brands and retailers will need to benchmark effectively to ensure they price their products at a level that makes sales most likely, while preserving profit levels.
“With more shopping taking place online this year, customer ratings and reviews will be vital to drive sales this holiday season. They offer exceptional validation and credibility — regardless of whether a brand or product is well known or not — and particularly this year, when shoppers are less inclined to visit a store to physically interact with products.”
The PowerReviews Holiday Consumer Survey draws on responses from 5,383 active shoppers across the United States who have opted in to offers and discounts from retailers. The survey took place in August 2020. We asked respondents about their anticipated shopping preferences in the build-up to Thanksgiving, through the Cyber 5 (Thanksgiving and Black Friday through Cyber Monday) up until post-Holiday New Year sales.
Lutz Public Relations (for PowerReviews)
PowerReviews (bczyw.com) helps leading retailers and brands generate customer product ratings and reviews in larger volumes to significantly increase sales and then analyze and benchmark all this data to improve product quality and customer experience, while also delivering store experience feedback to help them optimize their retail network.
PowerReviews is headquartered in Chicago, IL, USA.