2021 Holiday Shopping Plans [Consumer Data]

by Meredith Kavanagh • ,

Last year, daily online spending throughout the holiday shopping season surpassed $1 billion for the first time. Now, even during a global supply chain crisis, continued online spending and a surge in demand has Adobe predicting holiday ecommerce retail spending to top $200 billion.

With 2021 shaping up to be another historic year for holiday sales, we surveyed online shoppers to learn about their end-of-year budgets, concerns around shipping delays, and how the ongoing pandemic impacts their in-store shopping plans. Read on for the latest holiday shopping survey results to stay updated on consumer trends.

2021 Holiday Shopping Survey Results

60% will start shopping whenever the sales are live

Are Thanksgiving weekend shopping frenzies a thing of the past? The extended holiday shopping season powered by early and prolonged ecommerce sales has made a permanent impact on consumer habits. This year, the 2-month shopping season is more crucial than ever as consumers look for solutions to limited product availability, higher prices, and potential shipping delays.

black friday cyber monday shopping plans pie chart

When it comes to attracting new shoppers during the busiest time of year, there are few guarantees. Every retailer is offering discounts, so here are a few more ways you can beat out your competitors and win over their loyal customers.

holiday shopping with new brand or loyal brands

73% are ordering online earlier due to concern over late deliveries

In our Bizrate Partner Holiday Survey in October 2021, we asked 4,328 respondents about their concerns over how supply chain issues and shipping delays might impact their shopping. A little less than half (46%) of those surveyed said they plan to shop in-store more than online this year because they are worried about late deliveries. Meanwhile, 73% said they will order online earlier compared to last year.

50% don’t have a holiday budget set in advance

Online shoppers are divided when it comes to shopping budgets. Exactly half of those surveyed say they don’t have a budget, while the remaining half is an almost even split between those who will spend less than last year and those who will spend more.

holiday spending budget 2021

Nearly one-third of respondents said they plan to spend more than $500. Despite industry analysts predicting a huge year for buy now, pay later (BNPL) in holiday shopping, only 7% said they will use a micro-financing option. Three in 5 respondents said they will pay with cash or a debit card, while 31% will use a traditional credit card.

53% are shopping in-store as often as they did before COVID-19

In October 2021, we surveyed 3,783 online shoppers on COVID-19 safety and how it impacts their plans to shop in store this season. While weariness around in-store shopping has eased, online shopping is still the more popular method.

Regarding COVID-19, 69% of online shoppers currently feel safe shopping in store, but only 53% said they were shopping in store as often as they did before the pandemic. If not due to health concerns, why aren’t people shopping in store? When we asked, we found that the majority of people are shopping online more often (67%), while some are shopping less than they normally would (19%), with the remainder opting for buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) options.  

77% of shoppers would feel safer shopping in a store with masks mandated

For retailers with brick-and-mortar locations, there is a clear answer on how to keep customers feeling safe. Of respondents who said they did not currently feel safe shopping in-store, we asked what measures would make them feel more secure.

holiday shopping in store COVID bar graph

Find out how your customers feel about holiday shopping

Our targeted site abandonment, fulfillment, and point-of-sale surveys combined with an industry-high response rate can help you gather the feedback you need to make data-driven decisions year-round.

Schedule a demo to find out how Bizrate Insights can help your brand deliver the experience customers want and make this your best holiday season yet.

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