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Mary Broaddus
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Dave Darovitz
Executive Director, Public Relations & Social Media
PRESS@VERICAST.COM

While consumers are minding their spending this upcoming holiday season, many will splurge

SAN ANTONIO, July 11, 2024: Vericast’s latest research indicates consumers are facing an internal conflict between the desire to save money and the temptation to splurge during the 2024 winter holiday season.

According to recent data of 1,000 U.S. adults and Vericast’s 2024 Holiday Retail TrendWatch, 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%). For consumers willing to spend more, there were decreases since last year – specifically, Millennials (64%, down 8 percentage points), parents (65%, down 8 percentage points), and millennial parents (69%, down 11 percentage points).

As for splurging on meals, 23% of consumers say they dine out more often during the holiday season, especially Gen Z (34%), Millennials (33%), and Millennial parents (42%). However, Gen X has shifted from intending to dine out more (17%) to indicating they will dine out less (44%), with a six-percentage point increase in those dining out less compared to last year.

“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.”

Vericast’s research offers additional insights to help marketers strategize for the 2024 holiday season:

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.

  • 44% of consumers plan to start shopping for the holidays in October or earlier, down from 47% in 2023.
  • 31% of parents, more likely than other consumer groups, do most of their shopping in October or earlier.
  • Most consumers (74%) plan to do most of their holiday shopping in November (41%) and December (33%).
  • Almost a third of consumers plan shopping days dedicated to buying holiday gifts. Almost half (44%) of Gen Z respondents say they do this.
  • 50% say they buy gifts for people as they see them leading up to the holidays. More than half of Millennial and Gen Z respondents agree.

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.

  • 38% of respondents say they are most interested in receiving deals and discounts that will make holiday shopping more affordable. 56% say the holiday season is a great time of year to make purchases because of sales and discounts.
  • 27% want to hear from advertisers about where to shop to find the best deals locally and 23% are interested in receiving information about restaurant deals for busy days.
  • When asked about the best ways to find out about promotions and discounts from retailers during the holiday shopping season, consumers noted top preferences as email (35%), coupons in the mail or newspaper (33%), and online coupons or discounts (29%).
  • Consumers also expect to feel the love this holiday season, with 20% saying they shop with brands offering points or loyalty rewards to find the best deals for holiday purchases, up from 16% in 2023.

Limited time offers can capitalize on consumers’ 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.

  • More than half say they purchase holiday gifts throughout the year depending on when they see a good deal vs. waiting for the holiday shopping season.
  • 44% of respondents agree they would purchase an item immediately for fear of not being able to find that item later in the holiday shopping season.
  • 74% say they prefer to give physical gifts for the holidays vs. gifting an experience.

To learn more about key trends driving consumer preference and spending during the 2024 holiday shopping season, read the 2024 Retail TrendWatch.

About Vericast
Vericast is a marketing technology company that provides a data-rich approach to influence consumers and drive meaningful commerce. We power smarter activations for more than 15,000 clients in consumer packaged goods, financial, grocery, restaurant, retail, and more. Our decades of experience, advanced technologies, and broad solutions portfolio help companies reach audiences with precision and scale.