2020 holiday shopping outlook report

Increased anxiety, tighter budgets drive consumers to overwhelmingly embrace e-commerce this shopping season
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Ibotta, the leading cash back rewards platform in the United States, today released findings from its latest report, 2020 Holiday Shopping Outlook. 

The combined surveys of more than 3,000 Ibotta Savers and general U.S.-based consumers examined current sentiments ahead of the holiday shopping season and how consumer preferences and behaviors, both in-store and online, will shift in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Tis the Season to be Jolly…Or Is It?

Despite being known as the most wonderful time of the year, in 2020, many consumers are feeling less excited and happy about the holidays.

Instead, survey respondents reported increased levels of indifference, apprehension and anxiousness, with 33 percent of 18 to 29 year-olds feeling anxious, ranking highest of all age groups.

More than half of survey respondents believe shopping will look very different than previous years, while some are still clinging to some semblance of normalcy with one third of consumers seeking a “comforting and reassuring” shopping experience this year.

Shopping Lists are Two Sizes Too Small This Year   

With increased uncertainty around holiday shopping, most consumers are planning to dial back on both gift giving and spending.

Ibotta Savers in particular are keeping budgeting top of mind, and will be using different money-saving tools and techniques to help them do so, averaging five methods per person, with online sales, coupons (paper and digital) and promo codes ranking highest.

More than one third of consumers plan to spend less money this year, with 15 percent planning stricter budgets. Almost one-fifth of consumers are  planning to purchase gifts for fewer people, and nearly 50 percent of 45 to 60 year-olds are planning to spend less money overall.

“After the year we’ve had it’s only natural that consumers are looking to tighten budgets and scale down shopping lists,” said Bryan Leach, CEO and founder, Ibotta. “Putting cash back in people’s pockets when they really need it most is at the core of what Ibotta is about. We aim to make every purchase rewarding, and this year, each and every reward counts.”

Stockings Will Be Hung by the Front Door with Care

All survey respondents identified online shopping as more appealing this year, with over half reporting they’ll be shifting to e-commerce shopping only. One third of consumers are planning to shop earlier to avoid shipping delays, while one fifth will spend more time than last year comparing prices.

The report also identifies opportunities for brick-and-mortar retailers to increase foot traffic.

Getting shoppers in the store rests solely on their ability to promote a safe shopping experience by following COVID-19 safety protocols and taking appropriate precautions. The safeguard deemed most important is the sanitation of high-touch surfaces, while most survey respondents also support social distancing and mask requirements for store employees and customers.

Methodology 
Ibotta’s Saver survey was administered on July 22, 2020 and received 2,098 responses from Ibotta Savers across the country. Ibotta’s general consumer holiday survey was distributed via email on November 10, 2020, tallying 1,128 responses from nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over.

Categories: Consumer, Industry Trends