Consumers plan to spend more during the 2019 holiday season: report

| November 22, 2019

The 2019 Global Holiday Shopping Survey found that almost one-fourth of Australians (24 per cent), nearly one-third of U.K. respondents (30 per cent), and 50 per cent of U.S. respondents plan to spend more on holiday shopping compared to previous years.

The research — driven by the Toluna QuickSurveys platform — surveyed 3,090 consumers across four key markets including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Spain. The findings revealed key trends that will help marketers better understand their customers in a competitive retail climate this holiday season.

Brands looking to compete with industry giants like Amazon need to consider how important shipping logistics are to their customers. When asked about shipping preferences, respondents shared that free shipping matters most when it comes to online purchases — over 75 per cent cited that shipping costs deter them from making purchases altogether.

Over 40 percent of Australians also indicated delivery guarantees before the holidays as an important component, while this fact matters less to U.K. residents (37 per cent) and Americans (30 per cent).

“Organisations struggle to stay one step ahead of their customers’ needs, and this is never more critical than during peak periods including the holiday season,” said Jay Rampuria, executive vice president, global business and corporate development for Toluna.

“Consumer data is a must-have for brands across all global markets to grasp the full picture of their customers and help them identify the proper insights, strategies and trends necessary to better inform their marketing strategies now and throughout the year.”

Interestingly for marketers, social media continues to drive strong sales for U.S. brands, but not other markets. More American consumers have made purchases directly through social media advertisements (56 per cent) than those who have not, with 32 per cent making purchases directly from influencers.

In contrast, Australians (65 per cent) and U.K. respondents (56 per cent) have never made purchases through social media ads. However, a majority of global consumers surveyed look at brand websites for information on holiday shopping deals. In the U.S., more look for TV commercials (47 per cent) than social media (38 per cent) for sales and email newsletters (38 per cent). Only 18 per cent of U.K. respondents look for magazines and print advertisements for seasonal discounts.

Despite their willingness to spend more, Australian consumers are the least excited (60 per cent) about the actual shopping itself, compared to U.K. consumers (69 per cent) and Americans (75 per cent) who are looking forward to holiday shopping.

And although marquee holiday sales like Black Friday and Cyber Monday are around the corner, shoppers across all markets have already begun to spread holiday cheer by reaching into their pockets — more Americans (49 per cent) plan to start shopping before Black Friday than Spanish (35 per cent), U.K. (36 per cent) and Australian (34 per cent) residents. Regardless, over 75 per cent of Americans plan to shop during Cyber Monday this year, along with 65 per cent of U.K. consumers and nearly 40 per cent of Australians.