Pre-Predictions About Holiday Shopping

Cropped view of man holding magnifier above laptop keyboard with gift, online holiday shopping

With the heart of the holiday shopping season still a couple of months away, NuVoodoo interviewed 350 adults 18+ nationwide about their expectations as they may be in the early stages of considering their purchases. We wanted to get an idea of how consumers imagine their shopping this holiday season as they face higher prices, the growth of online shopping, and many brick-and-mortar retailers with reduced staffing and inventory.

We’ll affirm all disclaimers possible about our inability as humans to predict our spending behavior when it comes to something emotionally charged like holiday gifts. And with Christmas still around three months away, we’re aware that many people haven’t even considered holiday purchases at all. However, Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast predicts “holiday retail sales are likely to increase between 4% and 6% in 2022” – despite inflation and rising interest rates.

With 6% of the sample willing to fully admit they aren’t yet sure about their gift purchases for the coming holiday season, we found slightly more predicting they’ll spend more for the 2022 holidays than those claiming they’ll curtail their spending when compared to their 2021 holiday spending.

We also asked respondents to compare what they imagine they’ll spend on the upcoming holidays to what they spent (as best they can remember) in the holiday season of 2019 – pre-pandemic, during a bustling economy, without the inflation we’re dealing with today. Again, more respondents predicted increased holiday spending for the upcoming season than predicted a reduction – even when compared to what was, for many of us, better times financially.

Even in this pre-season stage, however, many of these respondents predict they’ll be spending less of their money with brick-and-mortar retailers and less of their discretionary holiday cash on experiential gifts like concert tickets, sporting event tickets, and vacations. It appears online retailers are in for a modest rise in holiday spending.

Reflecting the need to make their holiday budgets go further, nearly a quarter of the sample predicts they’ll spend more on materials for homemade gifts. And the last stop for when you’re stumped for the “right gift” – the gift card – appears to be on track for purchasing levels similar to what we saw in 2021.

Whether or not the sales predictions pan out, one thing seems to be clear, we are headed into the season of perpetual hope with good intentions to make it merry and bright for those we care about most.