End-of-year holidays are here! Planning is already well underway, and now it’s all about executing on marketing plans, site adjustments, and other finishing touches online and in-store. Our third annual “Holiday Prep” blog series kicks off today, starting with insights from my colleague Jitender Miglani about the $9.2 billion forecasted festive season in India that is underway now.

What advice can you expect in this series? Over the coming weeks, my Forrester colleagues will advise you on topics from application security and bot management to consumer “confidence” measures, marketing tactics, and much more.

In the meantime, a few (early) insights into consumer thinking about the 2021 holiday season, from Forrester’s September 2021 Consumer Energy Index And Retail Pulse Survey:

  • Anticipated 2021 holiday budgets. One-quarter of US online consumers surveyed in September expect to spend more this holiday season than last (2020). Another two out of five expect to spend about the same amount again. Among UK online consumers, just under one in five expect to spend more this year, and another 45% anticipated spending being about the same as last year.
  • Top considerations for holiday shoppers. Over one-quarter of both UK and US online consumers say they have less money to spend this year than last. Fully one-quarter of UK and US consumers plan to look for more environmentally friendly/sustainable products to give as gifts. Plus, they plan to actively look to buy from retailers and brands that are transparent about their corporate practices.
  • Digital continues to be important for store shopping. Almost one-third of US online shoppers expect to check online whether an item is available in the store before going into stores, as will one in four UK online shoppers. And one-quarter anticipate using digital and contactless payments in-store more than they did last year.

Stay tuned for more holiday insights in the coming weeks! And please let me know if you have any questions — Forrester clients, my fellow analysts and I are happy to speak with you via inquiry. Wishing you a very successful end-of-year holiday season!