Holiday shopping study shows consumers prefer going online

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Survey says 46% plan to increase online shopping relative to last year.

PURCHASE, N.Y. — While consumers are returning to their in-store shopping routines, according to a recent Mastercard survey, 56% of shoppers are continuing to prioritize online shopping this holiday season, citing waiting in lines (72%), finding parking (65%), and items being out of stock (47%) as primary reasons. Survey data also shows that when selecting gifts this holiday season, nearly half of shoppers say they’re more likely to give gift cards this year (48%) and two thirds say are focused on charitable and cause related giving (69%). Additional insights from the Mastercard survey include:

Deck the Halls with gift cards:

  • Two thirds (63%) of shoppers say they are more likely to buy their loved ones a gift card/prepaid card rather than a physical or experiential gift this year and 41% say gift cards are the top item on their own wish lists.
  • Gift cards are the most popular gift for parents/grandparents (21%), siblings, other relatives and best friends (all at 23%), coworkers (16%) and clients (12%).

 Giving gifts that give back put joy and meaning into the holidays:

  • Twenty percent of shoppers would like a gift that gives back to a good cause this year more so than in the past. Millennials are more likely to prioritize giving back with 27% saying gifts that give back to a good cause are higher on their wish list, representing a significantly higher share than Gen X (15%) and Boomers (18%).
  • Top charitable causes shoppers are most interested in supporting include wildlife conservation (37%) and environmental protection including parks and nature centers, health including patient and family support, and food banks and social services (all at 30%).

“Gift cards are a clear winner this season. People’s propensity to engage digitally and support causes they’re passionate about is changed for good,” noted Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president, North America Marketing and Communications at Mastercard. “Online shopping is not only providing consumers with convenience, but also an immediate way to give with meaning this season.”


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