November 8, 2023
More Than 1,000 Consumers Surveyed Across United States Reveals Economic Anxieties Could Make for A Challenging Holiday Season for Retailers
Ankura Consulting, LLC (“Ankura”), a leading global expert services and advisory firm, published its 2023 Holiday Consumer Spending Survey conducted by its Performance Improvement Practice. The survey polled over 1,000 consumers and analyzed sentiment on the economy, personal finances, and spending this holiday season. The research revealed several key consumer factors retailers should consider:
- Consumers remain inflation weary.
- Retailers will need to appeal to multiple generations this season.
- Retailers should be aware of key demographic divisions this year.
- Online shopping will continue to be prevalent during this holiday season, but in-store shopping remains critical, especially to certain shopper segments.
- Consumers do not require same or next day delivery and are willing to compromise expediency for the cheapest option available.
- Retailers should recognize the varied importance of technology this season and consider this in their marketing plans, both in stores and digitally.
- Gift cards will remain popular and should be showcased online and in-store.
Ankura’s experts also offered key insights and strategies for retail success in 2024.
“With so much uncertainty about the economy right now, U.S. consumers are reluctant to open their wallets this holiday season to spend on traditional gift giving,” said Keith Jelinek, Senior Managing Director in Ankura’s Performance Improvement Practice. “Our survey shows that the shopping journey is not ‘one-size-fits-all’ – the decision on when, where, and how to shop will vary based on age, income, and other factors. Retailers must be nimble and strategic in addressing these different needs among their customers.”
Rick Maicki, Senior Managing Director in Ankura’s Performance Improvement Practice, notes, “Our research shows that shoppers enter this holiday season with different attitudes and needs. For example, consumers do not require same and next day delivery as a key conversion driver. Instead, they are willing to compromise to obtain “the cheapest option” available. Retailers should consider increasing purchase minimums to obtain ‘free’ shipping.”
However, “Despite the strong appeal and benefits of online shopping and even curbside pickup, consumers still enjoy visiting malls and physical stores. In fact, ‘the experience’ ranked at the top of why consumers come to stores. They appreciate guidance with purchase decisions and the ease of in-store returns. Hiring up and training store associates to deliver on these expectations is critical for success this season”, said Tom Clarke, Senior Managing Director in Ankura’s Performance Improvement Practice.
The full survey and its accompanying data and graphics can be found at the link here.