New Loqate Study Reveals That Despite Inflation, Consumers are Spending and Getting an Early Start on Shopping this Holiday Season

The majority of consumers are hybrid shopping, prompting retailers to deliver flexibility and ease across every touchpoint and channel

Loqate, a GBG company, announced the results of its annual global holiday survey, providing an inside look at consumer plans and expectations for the busiest shopping season of the year. This year’s survey results indicate a successful holiday shopping season if retailers can meet consumer expectations for a seamless omnichannel experience, quick and easy checkout and on-time delivery.

While inflation is top of mind, most shoppers are ready to spend and plan to embrace the new future of retail – hybrid experiences. Although 25% of consumers expect to do the majority of their shopping online, 55% will be hybrid shoppers, illustrating the need for retailers to bridge the digital and physical to support the 85% of shoppers who expect consistency during every interaction, no matter where it takes place.

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“The economy is changing fast, but customer preferences are changing faster, and success for retailers means meeting growing expectations for shopping flexibility and delivery reliability this holiday season,” said Matthew Furneaux, global commercial director at Loqate. “With the right strategies and tools in place to ensure a pleasant experience wherever consumers shop, retailers can build customer trust and loyalty this holiday season.”

Supply chain concerns drive consumers to shop early. Despite inflation, supply chain issues and low inventory are motivating consumers to get a jump on shopping as early as October. Globally, 87% plan to start shopping before December, prompting retailers to reward loyal customers with strong incentives that encourage them to buy. It’s worth noting that 52% of American consumers report that a retailer’s availability of products impacts their loyalty.

Shoppers are spending but keeping a watchful eye on inflation. Despite strong concerns, the majority of shoppers (49%) plan to spend the same on gifts as last year.

However, those who have lived through past economic crises are keeping a more watchful eye on holiday spending than younger generations. Only 16% of baby boomers are spending more this year compared to 21% of Gen X, 31% of Millennials and 38% of Gen Z.

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More consumers are shopping on mobile devices. This year, mobile surpassed computers as the most popular online shopping device. However, mobile is not as favored by Boomers, 57% of which prefer to shop on a computer, and 17% prefer purchasing from a tablet.

Free shipping and promotions will drive purchases. Eighteen percent of consumers consider free shipping the most important purchasing factor, while promotions and discounts take the top spot for 17% of shoppers.

Checkout can make or break the shopping experience. Consumers expect an easy checkout experience and aren’t afraid to abandon the process midway. Twenty-four percent of shoppers say they will abandon their carts if checkout is too complicated. Checkouts will be the most critical part of the digital shopping experience. A type-ahead auto-complete feature for address entry can help retailers alleviate friction. Shoppers enter as little as three keystrokes and, in as fast as 150 milliseconds, are provided with suggestions to auto-complete the address.

Growing concerns about on-time delivery. Eighty-four percent of shoppers are concerned about packages arriving on time, and many aren’t willing to give second chances after late deliveries. Baby Boomers are the most unforgiving, with 46% of shoppers unlikely to purchase from a retailer after a late delivery, followed by 38% of GenX, 28% of Millennials and 29% of Gen Z. Retailers can counter concerns by enhancing their checkout with tools, such as address auto-complete, and exploring alternative fulfillment options to minimize last-mile issues and increase consumer confidence.

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