PLEASANTON, CA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As shoppers grapple with rising costs this year, a new holiday forecast from Blackhawk Network, a leader in global branded payments, revealed consumers plan to spend nearly half (46%) of their holiday budgets on gift cards — a resilient economy Top gifting option for 2022. The report also found that despite tightening budgets, consumers plan to spend more overall this holiday season but will seek to increase the value of their holiday cash by looking more closely at offers and promotions.
“With the rising cost of living and inflation challenges Americans face this year, shoppers are looking to get more from their vacation dollar, which is changing consumer behavior,” said Jay Jaffin, chief marketing officer, Blackhawk Network. “Our research found that around half of consumers’ holiday shopping will happen between now and Black Friday/Cyber Monday, as people look for promotions and try to hand out their holiday shopping. There will be widespread bargain-hunting behavior and hybrid in-store/online shopping will come to the fore – likely as an additional strategy to find the best prices. This year, it’s critical for retailers to have a solid cross-channel strategy in place to meet consumer demands early and ensure plans span the length of the holiday shopping season.”
To better understand the retail landscape heading into the critical holiday season of 2022, the study commissioned by Blackhawk Network was conducted1 surveyed American consumers to explore how shoppers plan to change their behavior this year. Key findings from the research include:
Despite tight budgets, consumers are planning to increase their holiday spending
For the second year in a row, shoppers expect to spend more during the holiday season. Consumers surveyed expect spending on gifts to increase by 8% overall this year, driven largely by Gen Z. Far more than any other generation, Gen Z respondents plan to increase spending on gifts by 28% year over year. Gift card sales are expected to grow even more, with shoppers expected to spend 18% more on gift cards overall this year than last year, and Gen Z shoppers planning to increase gift card purchases by 57% .
Gift cards are a popular and economically resilient option as they give gift givers the flexibility to top up any money that fits their budget and are the most requested gift year after year2. 43 percent of consumers surveyed said gift cards are most thoughtful when they can choose where to spend them. Among this year’s top choices, offering more choice, is a range of multi-brand cards, bringing together popular brands from top-selling categories into one themed gift card. A majority of shoppers surveyed said they were particularly interested in multi-brand gift cards (71%) or a themed gift card (62%).
Deals adorn the halls this year
Many people may plan to increase their spending for this holiday, but they are also changing their shopping habits. 58 percent of Americans surveyed say they plan to change their shopping behavior and are particularly interested in using discounts and promotions to help offset rising costs. More than half (51%) of surveyed shoppers say they use coupons, and more than 40% of shoppers say they use promotions and discounts more frequently across all purchases.
The holidays start even earlier this year
November is still a key month for holiday shopping, but many shoppers plan to shop even earlier this year. Thirty-seven percent of consumers surveyed plan to start shopping before November, with more than 10% saying they started Christmas shopping before September. Top reasons for pre-holiday shopping include budgeting for holiday expenses (42%), concerns about out-of-stock items (38%), and wanting to take advantage of deals and savings (37%). Interestingly, brands and retailers are largely the cause of an earlier start to the holiday season, with nearly half of consumers surveyed (46%) saying their signal for the start of holiday shopping is when brands and retailers announce special offers and promotions.
For more insights and insights into creating a successful holiday shopping season, download the 2022 Holiday Gifting Report.
Via the Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network provides payment solutions through prepaid products, technology and networks that connect brands and people. We work with our partners to innovate and translate market trends into branded payments to increase reach, loyalty and revenue. We reliably implement safety-oriented solutions worldwide. Shape the future of global branded payments with us. Learn more at blackhawknetwork.com.
1 The 2022 Holiday Gifting Report was an online study conducted by Leger on behalf of Blackhawk Network in August 2022. The sample size included 2,001 respondents aged 18 and over.
2 The October Consumer Holiday Survey is based on a survey of 7,921 consumers conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics on behalf of the National Retail Federation between October 1st and October 10th, 2021.