Unwrapping the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season

The 2023 holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and it’s shaping up to be a busy one. In preparation, we surveyed 1,000 shoppers in the U.S. about their shopping plans and the data shows that the majority of shoppers will be shopping online and looking for deals, with product variety and fast delivery at the top of their wishlists.

Consumers are looking for discounts.

Unsurprisingly, shoppers are leery of the economy and inflation. Because of this economic uncertainty, 50% of shoppers said they plan on spending less on gifts this year than previous years and 70% will seek discounts/flexible payment options. With this in mind, 70% believe that Black Friday and Cyber Monday will have better deals than now, so they will be shopping then.

Online shopping remains king.

While many stores and shopping malls are coming back to life around the country, our data shows that nearly 80% of shoppers are planning to do all or most of their shopping online. When it comes to Cyber Weekend specifically, 67% of shoppers said they are planning to shop online for Black Friday and 61% will do so on Cyber Monday.

Another indicator that online shopping remains the most popular option? 52% of shoppers already purchased holiday gifts on Amazon Prime Day this year, and a whopping 82% would take advantage of a second Prime Day in the Fall.

Consumers are prioritizing variety and fast delivery.

Despite the convenience of online shopping, many people remain concerned about shipping delays—with 54% of shoppers worrying that the strain on delivery services like UPS, USPS, and FedEx will impact gift delivery. Notably, 52% said delivery delays would influence their decision to buy from a retailer again. In fact, the top three factors that influence which retailer shoppers will choose are product availability (30%), fast shipping time (23%), and product assortment (21%).

Additionally, while 66% of shoppers are leaning towards purchasing essential and cost-effective gifts, the top three product categories for holiday shoppers this year are apparel/accessories (66%), electronics/video games (54%), and pajamas/loungewear (42%).

CommerceHub’s advice for retailers.

Looking ahead, these findings underscore how fierce the battle for consumers’ dollars is going to be this holiday shopping season and emphasize that an online presence is paramount. In order to win and capture consumers’ dollars online, retailers need to remember that flexibility is key. Offering competitive prices, product variety/assortment, discounts, and flexible pay options will go a long way with shoppers. It’s also important that retailers aim to deliver products on time, and if there are delays, be transparent and communicate with consumers.