November 21, 2023

Consumer Insights for the 2023 Holiday Season

Consumer Insights for the 2023 Holiday Season

With the holidays quickly approaching, now’s the time to prepare for the busiest shopping season of the year. Whether you own a small retail store or local restaurant, you can boost profits and bring in new customers with the one thing on everyone’s holiday wish list—gift cards!

Setting the stage: Consumers are ready to spend

According to Deloitte, this holiday season is set to be more extravagant than 2020, 2021, and 2022 as life returns to pre-pandemic levels:

  • US consumers plan to spend $1,652 this holiday season—surpassing pre-pandemic figures
  • 95% of consumers plan to spend on holiday gifts (versus 92% last year)
  • 44% YOY increase in spending
  • In-store shopping is set to return to pre-pandemic levels (37%)

While consumers are ready to spend again this holiday season, inflation is still a concern and is set to drive spending habits:

  • 72% are already prepared to see higher prices than in 2022
  • 66% plan to shop Black Friday weekend (up from 49% last year)
  • Consumers plan to get shopping done quickly—in just 5.8 weeks (pre-pandemic levels were over seven weeks)
  • 75% are tempted to buy gifts for themselves

Gift cards top the lists in 2023

Once again, gift cards are topping wish lists this holiday season. According to Deloitte, many consumers plan to buy fewer gifts this year but spend more on gift cards (around $300 vs. $217 in 2022).

Civic Science provided statistics that reveal more about who is buying cards and why:

  • 1 in 3 adults say they’re “very likely” to give gift cards, a significant increase over last year’s 12%
  • Only a third of consumers report that they’re unlikely to buy gift cards this year
  • Convenience and hard-to-please loved ones are driving gift card popularity
  • Those who are late to start holiday shopping are more likely to purchase gift cards
  • Gift cards are the most popular gift to receive, over physical gifts and experiences
  • 63% of consumers have unused credit on their gift cards, with 28% reporting they have over $100 in unused funds

Gift card tips, according to data

There are plenty of tried and true gift card tips that apply all year long, but this year, Fiserv offered some data to help hone your holiday strategy:

  • 46% of shoppers look for gift cards near checkout areas
  • 36% expect gift cards to be on endcaps at the front of the store
  • 40% of shoppers use greeting cards as wrapping for gift cards
  • 47% expect to spend a minimum of $25 per card
  • About 25% expect to spend $50 per card

Remember to place gift cards where consumers expect to find them and be sure to position them alongside items (like envelopes) that buyers often want at the same time. It will also make sense to order plenty of cards in $25 and $50 denominations!

With so many reasons to offer gift cards all year round, but particularly at the holidays, turn to eGiftSolutions®.

eGiftSolutions® also makes it easy to switch from your current gift card program—and even offers a free QuickStart™ Program. Get started today!