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Early Holiday Spending Predictions Unveiled

Economic uncertainty likely to remain top of mind for shoppers in ’24.

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While this guy probably never stops thinking about Christmas shopping, most regular consumers wait until the last two (or three) months of the year. PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO

Though the 2024 holiday shopping season is still several months away, product-experience management firm Salsify has completed an early-look survey on consumers’ shopping plans for it. Here’s what that effort uncovered:

Shoppers will spend roughly the same as last year
Holiday shoppers aren’t big fans of change, with 65% saying they plan to spend about the same on holiday gifts as last year. This preference is also clear across generation groups, as most shoppers across groups say they’re staying put with spending.

Gen Zers (22%) and millennials (17%) stand out as the big(ish) spenders who plan to shell out more money than they did last year. But even more Gen Zers (26%) plan to cut back, as do 21% of baby boomers.

While economic uncertainty is top of mind for many shoppers — 39% said they have increased their focus on budget-friendly options for day-to-day shopping, according to the Salsify “2024 Consumer Research” report — the holidays are clearly a unique outlier.

Shoppers Will Treat Themselves This Holiday Season
As shoppers spend endless hours searching for the perfect gifts, they’re bound to come across an item (or two) they want or need.

While 61% of all shoppers will treat themselves while they work through their gift lists, millennials (73%) and Gen Zers (68%) are the most likely to practice some self-spending. On the flip side, baby boomers are the only group in which most (53%) typically pass on purchasing something for themselves while they shop for the holidays.

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Shoppers plan an early start on holiday shopping
Just over a quarter (27%) of shoppers start buying holiday gifts as early as October — well before most brands and retailers kick off their seasonal promotions. For 7% of shoppers, spending is a year-round event: Several even start shopping for the next holiday season the day after Christmas.

Thirty percent of Gen Xers and 24% of baby boomers plan to start in October. For millennials, 29% plan to start shopping in October and 29% plan to start in November, before U.S. Thanksgiving. Roughly a third (32%) of Gen Zers also plan to start in November.

Overall, Salsify garnered responses from 1026 participants: 526 shoppers from the United States and 500 shoppers from the United Kingdom. The survey was administered using SurveyMonkey, and data was collected on April 22.

Click here for more from that survey.

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