U.S. shopping habits continue to be influenced by COVID-19 this holiday season. Consumers remain cautious about looking for gifts in shopping malls, with data from Coresight Research showing 64% of U.S. shoppers have moved some online gift shopping due to the pandemic. Online channels accounted for 20% of vacation sales in 2020, with e-commerce sales increasing 32.5% year-over-year, according to Coresight Research’s analysis of US Census Bureau data.
Retailers should note that shoppers also expect a more connected and seamless digital gift experience when putting their gift lists online. This trend is important because the journey of buying gifts is distinct from that experienced when buying for oneself. The majority of buyers believe that innovations in digital gifts, such as the ability for the recipient to acknowledge receipt of the gift (cited by 76% of respondents), enter their delivery preferences (74%) and even selecting or personalizing their gifts before shipping (71 percent) – would improve the overall gift experience. Additionally, buyers expect a seamless experience even after placing the order, such as readily available and up-to-date delivery tracking details.
“COVID-19 has altered shoppers’ behavior, preferences and spending propensity, and online is clearly the destination of choice for giveaways in 2021 and beyond,” said Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research. “We expect online sales to account for around 21% of total sales in the fourth quarter of 2021. However, innovation in digital gift cards and personalization and personalization options for the recipient have yet to accelerate and have the potential to enhance the online giveaway. -substantial shopping experience. ”
Americans are shopping earlier and more often this holiday season. The Coresight Research study found that nearly 50% of shoppers started their holiday shopping in October, a change from the traditional start of the holiday season: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Some retailers launched holiday shopping promotions as early as October. Additionally, nearly 60% of holiday shoppers plan to continue shopping until December, demonstrating the opportunity for last-minute giveaways and shoppers’ increased appetite for deals. Retailers can take advantage of the fact that first-time buyers continue to make impulse purchases or be drawn to offers throughout the holiday season, even after purchasing their planned freebies.
Physical gift cards are at the top of the list of gifts buyers would love to receive this holiday season. Plus, improved digital delivery of gift cards – a favorite everlasting gift for the holidays – with digital gift wrapping and personalized videos and messages is helping retailers better serve last-minute shoppers. Digital gift cards also offer a possible solution to shipping delays and inventory availability issues. This may become even more critical as we move into the holiday season, given supply chain challenges and the increased frequency of stockouts.
“Retailers and consumers alike are realizing that empowering the gift buyer in the gift selection and delivery process can be a critical step in the digital gift experience,” said Racca bet, Managing Director of GiftNow at Synchrony. “GiftNow empowers retailers to better tap this growing online marketplace, with innovative personalization options that also help retailers reduce shipping costs and costly returns while making it easier to give giveaways in categories such as apparel. , shoes and personal care. Enhanced digital gifts are a winning solution. win-win for the giver, the recipient and the retailer. “
The other findings of the Coresight Research study are as follows:
- The demand for gifts will be high. Half of all survey respondents plan to buy nine or more gifts, and more than seven in ten plan to spend at least $ 300 on holiday gifts.
- Online giveaways don’t go away: 90% expect to buy as many or more gifts online in 2022 compared to this year.
- Purchasing priorities after the pandemic include value and convenience. Buyers have a new set of expectations, with shipping costs at the top of what buyers consider to be more or much more important since COVID-19, as well as free or flexible return policies and the ability to track the shipment and receipt of gifts.
To obtain a copy of Unwrapping the Holiday Gifts: Buyer’s Plans and Retail Opportunities, please email [email protected].
GiftNow, a holistic omnichannel gift experience management (GXM) solution is well positioned to help retailers take advantage of opportunities in the gift market. With GiftNow’s specially designed GXM platform, gifts can send personalized digital gifts and gift cards within seconds, and recipients can exchange or change their items before shipping, for the benefit of gift givers, recipients , corporate and retail gift programs. GiftNow is used by specialty retailers and high-end department stores across the United States
Coresight research study methodology
This study is based on analysis of data from an online survey of 298 U.S. consumers (ages 18 and older) who typically purchase gifts for the holiday season and plan to do so this year. Coresight Research only surveyed omnichannel shoppers (respondents who plan to purchase Christmas gifts both in-store and online).
About Coresight Research
Coresight Research is a retail and technology research and consulting firm. Established in 2018 by the world’s leading retail analyst Deborah Weinswig, the company is headquartered in new York, with offices in London, Lagos, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Mangalore (India). The company provides data-driven analytics and strategic advice to clients including retailers, brands, enterprise tech companies, accelerators, and more. In addition to being renowned for the breadth and depth of its research, Coresight Research is recognized for its expertise in China market, assisting clients with their market entry and cross-border e-commerce strategies. Coresight Research is also known for its Innovator Intelligence platform, made up of a vast network of tech entrepreneurs that it actively cultivates through events, mentoring, and regularly updated report coverage. For more information visit www.coresight.com.
Synchrony (NYSE: SYF) is a leading consumer financial services company. We offer a wide range of specialized financing programs, as well as innovative banking products for consumers, in key industries such as digital, retail, home, automotive, travel, health and animals. of company. Synchrony allows our partners to increase their sales and retain consumers. We are one of the largest private label credit card issuers in United States; we also offer co-branded products, installment loans and consumer finance products for small and medium businesses, as well as healthcare providers.
Synchrony is changing what’s possible with our digital capabilities, deep industry expertise, actionable data insights, seamless customer experience, and personalized financing solutions.
For more information visit www.synchrony.com and Twitter: @Synchrony.
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SOURCE Synchrony Financial