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Holiday Shopping ’24: Consumers Pulled in Opposite Directions

Inflation continues to complicate spending decisions




Photo: Photo: Artiemedvedev/iStock by Getty Images

Save or splurge?

That’s the central question shoppers will wrestle with this holiday shopping season, according to a new survey done by Vericast which shows consumers are facing an internal conflict between the desire to save money and the temptation to splurge.

Responses from 1000 U.S. adults to the marketing technology company’s survey showed 41% of consumers are planning to splurge on gifts for themselves this holiday season, despite tightening spending elsewhere. This trend is even more pronounced among Gen Z (47%) and Millennials (56%). However, 46% of consumers say they need to budget more and spend less overall on holiday gifts this year.

The conflicted mentality on spending is even more apparent when it comes to planning holiday parties and events, with hosts having mixed feelings of spending more to make the event special (56%) and looking for ways to save as much money as possible (66%).

“Inflation has slowed, but that doesn’t mean it has stopped impacting wallets,” said Chip West, consumer behavior and retail category expert at Vericast. “Consumers will always spend around the holidays, but rising costs mean they are tightening their belts and putting more thought into what, how, and when they will buy – from gift giving to dining out during the season. Understanding how consumers are planning to shop this year can help marketers capitalize on moments in time and reach shoppers across channels.”

Here are some key takeaways from Vericast’s research:

  • Consumers aren’t shopping early – unless enticed to do so. Compared to previous years, there’s a shift toward later shopping this holiday season. The primary reason for early shopping is to save money through sales and discounts, followed by the need to spread out expenses over a longer period.
  • Deals will make the holiday season cheery for savvy shoppers. Consumers are particular about the offers they want to see from brands. They also have their go-to spots for finding this information.
  • Limited-time offers can capitalize on consumers’ fear-of-missing-out (FOMO). This year, consumers are looking for a sure thing when it comes to holiday shopping. Expect impulse buying and a focus on physical gifts vs. experiences.

Click here for more from the Vericast study.


Click on the link below to read another story on expected trends for the ’24 holiday shopping season, as reported by Shop!

Early Holiday Spending Predictions Unveiled


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