Survey: This factor keeps holiday shoppers happy

By Dan Berthiaume – 11/08/2019

Shipping costs are important, but not the top motivator for consumers during the holidays.

According to the 2019 Consumer Shopping Holiday Report from Rakuten Marketing, 58% of consumers say price affects their holiday shopping decisions the most. Broken down into specific pricing areas, 43% of consumers are most incentivized by sales and deals, almost double the 23% who focus most on shipping costs. Other popular motivators include coupons (15%) and rebates (13%).

The survey also examined generational differences in holiday shopping behavior. Sixty-two percent of millennial and Gen Z consumers age 18-34, as well as 60% of Gen X consumers age 35-54, prefer spending money for holiday purchases online. However, 53% of baby boomers age 55-plus prefer holiday shopping in a physical store.

In addition, millennial and Gen Z consumers are much more likely than other generations (45%) to browse and purchase holiday gifts on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Across generations, 44% of consumers use social media for gift inspiration, while 64% are likely to buy a gift that was brought to their attention by advertising.

Although 60% of consumers have adjusted their spending due to recession concerns, 72% plan to spend up to $1,000 on holiday gifts this year.

Rakuten also created a “holiday shopper timeline” that divided consumers by when they perform holiday shopping. The five categories are:

•    Early birds who begin as early as July (19%). Forty-one percent of early birds used Prime Day as an opportunity to save money on holiday gifts.

•    Winter shoppers who focus all their holiday shopping on the months of November and December (29%).

•    Bargain hunters who tailor their holiday shopping around sales days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday (17%). Two-thirds (66%) of bargain hunters shop on Black Friday.

•    Sporadic shoppers who make holiday purchases throughout the season, with 36% stating they are not motivated by sales (22%).

•    Last-minute shoppers who wait until the weeks before Christmas (13%). Forty-three percent of last-minute shoppers are not motivated by discounts or sales.