Thanksgiving and Black Friday are upon us, so we asked consumers how they’re thinking about holiday shopping. Among US online consumers we surveyed in early November, we found that:

  • Holiday offers are out there — even if not all consumers are ready. Close to half (45%) of US online adults we surveyed hadn’t started thinking about holiday shopping quite yet. One-quarter also said they plan to shop earlier this year than usual — and 8% said they had already finished their holiday shopping (perhaps having taken advantage of Prime Day sales and compelling offers from many retailers in mid-October). Retailers: Remember to reach out to customers also during off-peak times (i.e., not just during Cyber Week) throughout December when the marketing din isn’t as intense, meaning your customers are more likely to see your marketing messages.
  • Online shopping is particularly important this year. Not surprisingly, almost half of US consumers we surveyed expect to shop more online this holiday season. One-quarter said they expect to shop “the same as I did last year” — presumably a mix of in-store and online shopping. One-quarter plan to avoid stores, while 14% plan to use more curbside pickup. Retailers: Make sure your curbside, BOPIS, and appointment services are well-staffed and that your store associates have the training to smoothly handle that surge in online orders.
  • Gift giving is for family, friends — and also self. This year, one in five US online consumers surveyed anticipate buying more gifts for their family. And one in 10 expect to buy more things for friends and colleagues — and for themselves. Retailers: Of course you’re appealing to your customers’ wish to treat their families . . . but don’t overlook self-gifting messages, either. Many will welcome the thought of a treat (even something small) for themselves to celebrate the start of a new year.
  • Thanksgiving weekend will see strong online traffic. Over Thanksgiving weekend, 21% of US online adults plan to shop online. But whether shopping online or in-store, one-quarter are looking for more sales this year, which retailers no doubt will be ramping up further in the coming days and weeks.

Watch for our update after Black Friday and Cyber Monday and see also our recently published 2020 US Online Holiday Shopping Forecast.