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Only 10% Of Consumers Will Begin Shopping for the Holidays in December

3 minute read

While Christmas may still be months away, many people have already started thinking about their holiday spending. In fact, many of them might have even finished buying their gifts for the season, as a recent survey conducted by Gartner revealed that 19% of consumers have been shopping for the holidays year-round in 2023.


After surveying 302 consumers in June, Gartner found that only 9% of consumers are planning to spend more on Christmas this year than they did last year. Taking this further, 63% of respondents have shared that they plan on spending the same amount, and 28% have shared that they plan on spending less. According to Kassi Sacha, Director Analyst in the Gartner Marketing practice, this is not good news:

“This is concerning given that consumer spending during the 2022 holiday season did not meet industry projections. Annual growth was attributed to higher prices on the part of retailers combating inflation, not an increase in consumer discretionary spending.”


While 19% of consumers have been shopping for the holidays year-round, most people are still planning on making their Christmas purchases in the fourth quarter. More specifically, 19% have shared that they will begin shopping in October, 29% in November, and 10% in December.

Nevertheless, Gartner predicts that a whopping 30% of people will shop year-round for the holiday season by 2026. This prediction must prompt organisations to rethink the way they market their products. Furthermore, it should act as a warning, urging them to take action to attract customer attention well ahead of Q4.

“Retailers have continued to expand their year-round promotional calendar, and, in turn, consumers have followed their lead. Branded summer sales are becoming more common, and while retailers don’t need to hang snowflakes in July to capture consumer attention, they should increasingly take holiday shopping into account beyond the fourth quarter of the year,” Socha commented.


In addition to the spending habits revealed above, Gartner also uncovered the top drivers influencing a purchase decision in 2023. These are:

  • Free shipping (45%)
  • Value (35%)
  • Promotions or deals (33%)
  • Selection of gifts (24%)
  • Ratings and reviews (17%)

Another factor that is influencing the purchase decision of consumers is social purpose. This is especially important to younger consumers, with 13% of survey respondents selecting an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factor as the most significant. Expanding on this, Gartner reported that younger consumers are more likely to purchase a gift that is “locally made or from a brand owned by a member of a historically underrepresented group”.

Considering that customers’ habits and demands are continuously evolving, organisations must ensure that they are listening to what their customers really want and responding appropriately. With Christmas still being months away, it is not too late to make the necessary changes and capture consumer attention.

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