According to Shopkick, consumers plan to start their holiday shopping earlier this year. For businesses, that means starting their marketing earlier, too. Are you ready?

To learn more about when, where, and how consumers are planning to do their holiday shopping, Shopkick surveyed over 23,000 U.S. consumers in July 2021. It found that nearly one-quarter (22%) plan to shop earlier this year than last, with 25% expecting to do the majority of their shopping before Thanksgiving. Ten percent say they plan to start before Halloween.

Shopkick also found that, while shoppers’ concerns about COVID-19 have begun to wane, 79% still expect the pandemic to impact how they shop. For example:

  • 41% plan to shop online more than they typically would,
  • 33% plan to spend less on frivolous purchases,
  • 31% plan to make fewer shopping trips,
  • 26% plan to be more supportive of small businesses, and
  • 15% plan to visit malls and large shopping centers less often.

Lingering economic and financial impacts of the pandemic are influencing holiday shopping, as well. More than half (52%) of consumers are concerned about the impact of inflation on their budgets, and while 64% still plan to spend the same amount as last year, 21% plan to spend less.

Most of these purchases will be made as a result of requests from family and friends (59%). However, consumers tell Shopkick that rewards (39%) and weekly circulars (30%) have a strong impact on their decision-making, as well.

How should this affect your marketing?

  • Start your holiday promotions early. If you haven’t already started, it’s time to kick it into high gear.
  • Deliver tangible communications such as direct mail, catalogs, circulars, and flyers directly into shoppers’ hands. Put your offers in front of them before someone else can.
  • Focus on practical gifts, as well as more luxurious ones. Ensure that there is something for every budget.
  • Promote those rewards programs!
  • Forty-three percent of shoppers plan to shop in a physical store, so consider making an extra investment in in-store signage and displays to maximize the store experience.

The 2021 holiday shopping season may still be a little time away, but the holiday marketing season is about to begin. What’s your next move?