Peak Planning

Survey Reveals Shift to Pre-Pandemic Shopping Trends

Peak Planning
November 18, 2022
4 min read

Consumer survey data from Ware2Go indicates shoppers are looking to save money and will hold out until the last minute for holiday deals.

As expected by UPS, consumers are shopping for gifts later in the year and buying more gifts last minute. This indicates a shift back to pre-pandemic buying behaviors. While in 2021, consumers were concerned about stockouts due to rolling supply chain issues, 2022 consumers are more concerned about cost saving and will hold out for discounts.

  • 56% of consumers are buying most of their holiday gifts in December
  • The majority of consumers (82%) intend to buy at least some gifts at the last minute
  • This season saw a 43% increase in shoppers buying more than half of their gifts last minute

Shoppers will spend less but can be enticed by free shipping 

Economic pressures such as inflation have prompted 79% of consumers to change their buying behaviors, a slight increase (6%) compared to Q3 findings. A full 61% of consumers report that they have cut back on online spending, specifically on electronics, clothing, and home décor/furnishing.

When it comes to holiday shopping, consumers are buying fewer (32%), cheaper (36%) and different types of gifts (24%) compared to past seasons. However, they are still enticed to spend by deals and free/fast shipping.

According to consumers, retailers can win them over with the following tactics:

  • Provide free shipping – 66%
  • Offer deal days, coupons or promotions on online products – 49%
  • Reward customers with extra loyalty points – 35%
  • Provide 1-2 day shipping on all purchases – 34% 
  • Offer special in-store only discounts – 28%

Quarter over quarter data shows the same offerings in the top five. However, free shipping saw a significant increase (18%) in desirability.

Consumers have big expectations from small businesses

Consumers plan to support small businesses, with 65% reporting they will online shop with a small business for last-minute holiday gifts this year. However, small businesses will not get a pass. 

Previous Ware2Go survey data shows that consumers have the same expectations from small to medium businesses (SMBs) as larger retailers, putting pressure on SMBs to provide similar shopping experiences and deals.

Black Friday shopping is back

October deal days may have come too early for shoppers. Less than half of consumers (48%) shopped early holiday deal days like Second Amazon Prime Day. 

However, merchants should expect a big turnout for the Black Friday weekend, with a strong preference for ecommerce. A full 76% consumers intend to shop Black Friday weekend holiday sales, with 60% of shopping online.

Shoppers will be primarily looking for deals on practical items for everyday use and recreational goods on Black Friday weekend.

About Ware2Go

Ware2Go, a UPS company, simplifies the supply chain for merchants of all sizes. The company’s ​integrated technology platform connects ​any sales channel to ​a flexible, ​nationwide warehouse ​network ​and an ecosystem of partners to enable ​affordable 2-day delivery with UPS’ trademark shipping reliability. Using machine learning and data science, Ware2Go helps merchants gain operational efficiency, grow margins and meet sustainability goals with more precise demand forecasting, inventory orchestration and business planning.

About the survey

This study is based on a November 2022 survey conducted by Dynata of 1,000 U.S. consumers aged 18+ on shipping and holiday shopping preferences. Quarter-over-quarter comparisons are informed by consumer findings from the Peak 2022 Competitive Differentiators for SMBs Report, based on a July/August 2022 survey. 

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