As the holiday season approaches, along with major sales events, RedFlagDeals wanted to learn about the holiday shopping plans and behaviours amongst shoppers for this 2022 holiday season.
To do this, we surveyed a total of 2,700 Canadian consumers over the course of 2 surveys, 3 months apart. For the first survey, we asked consumers about their holiday shopping spending plans, shopping schedule, gifts they plan to purchase, and plans regarding Black Friday / Cyber Monday. About 3 months after our initial survey, we followed up with questions to see if people’s spending plans have changed, and why.
Holiday Season Spending & Shopping 2022 Study [Key Statistics]
Consumer holiday spending trends and statistics
- 43% of consumers plan to spend less on holiday shopping as of November, in comparison to their plans in September, with respondents stating the major factors are:
- Rising retail prices - 71% of respondents
- Rising fuel costs - 50% of respondents
- Rising household bills - 49% of respondents
- Concerns about inflation and economic instability - 48% of respondents
- Rising interest rates on mortgages - 33% of respondents
- Loss of income / employment - 14% of respondents
- 3 out of 5 consumers now plan to spend less on holiday shopping in 2022 than they did in 2021 - 1.3x more than the 47% of consumers in our September survey
- 3 out of 4 shoppers plan to spend $1000 or less this holiday season - 12% more in comparison to our September survey
- 3 out of 5 shoppers plan to spend under $500 on Black Friday / Cyber Monday - 20% more in comparison to our September survey
Holiday shopping plans statistics
- 95% of consumers will do the majority of their holiday shopping online
- 91% plan to purchase holiday gifts on Black Friday/Cyber Monday
- 54% of consumers will do the majority of their shopping in November but 79% of consumers say the majority of their shopping won’t be done until after BF/CM
Holiday spending statistics: Top gift categories and gift giving plans
- The top 3 categories gifts people plan to purchase by number of shopping categories for the 2022 holiday season are:
- Clothing, shoes, and apparel - 65% of respondents
- Gift cards - 51% of respondents
- Toys/books/puzzles/boardgames - 50% of respondents
- Tech gifts are a major category that consumers are planning to gift this holiday season, specifically:
- Computers, laptops, tablets & accessories - 43% of respondents
- Gaming devices - 41% of respondents
- Audio (speakers, headphones, soundbars, etc.) - 28% of respondents
- Home entertainment, TV or projectors - 22%
- Cell phones - 21%
- Camera - 6%
- People are 50% less likely to buy gifts for their friends or siblings, than they are for parents, children, or significant others.
Holiday Shopping Plans: Purchases Made Online vs Offline
People favour shopping online this holiday season with 95% of respondents indicating that they will be making 50% or more of their purchases through online channels. From this group of online shoppers, more than two-thirds will make 75% to 100% of their purchases online.
Consumers are 64% more likely to do all or a majority of their shopping online than in-store with only 5% of respondents favouring in-store shopping and 69% favouring online channels. Meanwhile, 26% of respondents plan to do half of their shopping online and half in-store.
Who are People Shopping for this Holiday Season?
This holiday season, a majority of people are shopping for their parents (65%) and significant others (62%).
58% of shoppers plan to buy gifts for children. Meanwhile, only 43% and 40% of respondents intend to buy gifts for siblings and friends respectively. There is a 21% difference between the top two and the bottom two types of people shoppers are buying for this holiday season.
Most popular types of gifts being purchased this holiday season
Clothing, Shoes and Apparel is the top shopping category for shoppers this holiday season with 65% of respondents intending to purchase from this category.
Gift Cards come second to clothing with 51% of respondents intending to purchase gift cards this year. Toys/Books/Puzzles/Board Games, etc is another popular category amongst gift givers with 50% planning to purchase these items.
Tech items – consisting of Computers, Laptops, Tablets and Accessories, Gaming Devices and Accessories, Audio, Home Entertainment, Cell Phone, and Camera – make up a majority of the shopping categories this year.
Within the technology categories, Computers, Laptops, Tablets and Accessories is the most popular category amongst shoppers with 43% of consumers intending to purchase these items, followed by Gaming Devices and Accessories with 41%. The least popular tech items to purchase are Home Entertainment (22%), Cell Phones (21%), and Cameras (6%).
Other gifts that consumers plan to purchase are Home Decor / Furniture (34%), Food (33%), and Sports / Exercise Equipment (20%).
Consumer Holiday Spending Plans
Changes in Holiday Spending Plans
In early November, about 3 months after the initial survey in September, we asked respondents some follow up questions to learn if their spending plans for the holidays have changed.
43% of respondents indicated that they will be spending less this holiday season than they originally intended.
42% of respondents kept their holiday spending plans the same as they initially planned in September. On the other hand, 14% of respondents have indicated that they will be spending more than they originally planned.
Factors Affecting Spending Plans
The cost of living crisis, economic instability, and inflation are the major driving factors pushing consumers to cut back spending.
This was evident in the responses of respondents because when asked why they would be spending less:
- 71% said - retail prices have increased
- 50% said - fuel costs have increased
- 49% said - household bills have increased
- 48% said - concerns about economic instability and inflation
As interest rates continue to increase, in the effort to fight inflation, those with variable interest rate loans are being hit the hardest, which is also a factor impeding holiday shopping. That’s because 33% said they would be spending less due to increasing rates on their mortgages while 12% are concerned about other variable rate loans they have.
Additionally, 14% of people stated they are spending less due to a loss of income or employment. Indicating that the economic situation with many companies under going layoffs is also a factor. It’s also possible that the potential for lay offs could curtail some spending as well.
Another strong factor was simply a focus on saving, with 36% of respondents stating they were cutting back to save up.
Lastly, 16% of respondents cited concerns about political instability as the reason they are planning to spend less this holiday season.
Holiday shopping spending 2022 vs 2021
60% of shoppers say they are planning to spend less on holiday shopping in 2022 than they did in 2021. That number planning to spend less than in 2021 increased by 1.3x from just 3-months ago due to the various economic factors currently playing out.
Holiday shoppin budget for 2022
Consumer budgets for the holiday season are decreasing, with 75% of consumers are planning to spend $1000 or less this holiday season.
The number of people who are looking to spend only $500 has increased 24% since September, as people tighten their wallets.
25% plan to spend above $1000, 24% fewer than our original assessment in September.
When looking at just the higher end of spending, the number of people who plan to spend above $2000 has decreased even more - down 36% since September.
When will people do their holiday shopping
November is the most popular month for holiday shopping with 54% of consumers intending to do a majority of their shopping in this month. More than half (57%) will have done their holiday shopping before December.
Therefore, 43% of consumers will still be doing their shopping in December of respondents.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping & Spending Statistics
How many people plan to shop on Black Friday / Cyber Monday?
91% of consumers will be purchasing holiday gifts during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales events.
Although 90% of people plan to shop on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, 4 out of 5 people plan to do a majority of their shopping after Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
More than a third of consumers had planned to finish a majority of their shopping before BF/CM, but as time has gone on, it seems their shopping goals have been pushed back.
Now just a fifth of believe they will be done before the major shopping holidays.
Black Firday and Cyber Monday Spending Stats
60% of consumers are planning to only spend $500 or less this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, nearly 20% more since our September survey.
Only 40% of consumers have budgeted more than $500 for their Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, 18% fewer than what we found in September. Specifically, the number of shoppers looking to spend:
- $500 - $2000 has dropped 16%
- $2000+ has dropped 33%
Months after the initial survey, more than half of the respondents indicated that their spending plans have changed with a majority of holiday shoppers intending to spend less. Signs are pointing towards the 2022 holiday shopping season potentially being significantly worse than 2021.
With every passing month and worsening economic signs, it seems consumers are becoming more cautious and conscious of their spending plans.
The primary drivers of this decreased spending revolve around the rising cost of living, rising prices, inflation, reduced income, and loss of jobs. The concerns from which continue to grow as the economic crisis continues to unfold.
Still, the vast majority are planning to continue with holiday shopping overall, with a major focus for online shopping. Significant amounts of people are looking to shop early, take advantage of deals, and get what they can on BF/CM to fit their holiday shopping into their budgets.