Back to newsroom

Survey reveals shifts in holiday shopping patterns

4 minute read

Hybrid shopping model emerges blending technology with physical store experiences

LONDON, 13 October 2020 - A new survey* of 2,000 UK and US consumers, conducted on behalf of JRNI, the experiential relationship management (XRM) platform for scheduling and managing personalized experiences at scale, reveals consumers are taking a more considered approach toward Black Friday and Christmas holiday season spending and behavior this year.

One fifth (20%) of US shoppers plan to spend more this Christmas indicating that there’s a desire by some to shake off the gloom of recent months with some retail therapy. In contrast, just less than one in ten (9%) UK shoppers are budgeting more for this year’s festivities. However, the data reveals that consumers are blending online and instore experiences to help make shopping a safe and engaging experience.

Consumers are embracing new technology – and not just for the convenience of online purchases. A fifth (20%) of all shoppers say they will use online personal shopping appointments to complete their Christmas holiday shopping, with US consumers (28%) adopting this technology faster than their UK counterparts (12%).

Despite social distancing restrictions, the experiential appeal of in-store shopping continues to exert a strong draw for many consumers. A quarter of shoppers say they will use ad hoc high street shopping for present shopping and over a third say they are planning to shop in local stores.

Key Findings at a Glance:

  • Consumers plan to blend new digital and omnichannel shopping options
    • Over half (56%) of UK consumers, and more than a third (36%) of US consumers will be heading online to complete their ad-hoc Christmas shopping purchases.
    • A fifth (20%) of all consumers are planning to take advantage of online personal shopping appointments to complete their festive purchases.
  • Consumers seek out responsible retailers
    • Consumers voiced concerns about encountering long queues and crowded stores that make social distancing problematic. Over a third (34%) of consumers say they feel more confident in a retailer who offers pre-booked appointments.
    • The main reason for this is they are seen to be taking the safety of their staff and customers more seriously than those where ‘walk-ins’ are the only option.
  • In-person shopping retains its appeal
    • Over a quarter (26%) of consumers say that this year they plan to head to retail outlets for ideas and inspiration and to complete their final ad-hoc Christmas purchases. This is especially the case for a significant 43% of UK consumers vs 10% of US shoppers.
    • One in twelve, (8%) of shoppers plan to use personal appointments booked with high street retailers.
  • Consumers plan to shop locally
    • Over a third (34%) of consumers intend to visit local retail outlets to complete their Christmas shopping this year.

John Federman, CEO at JRNI, commented on the findings, “2020 has been a challenging year on all fronts for shoppers and retailers alike. What is clear from the findings is the public is still keen to get out there. More and more are using a mixture of traditional online and in-store shopping, to make the best of their budget. The high street is evolving with new technology to help give consumers what they want – not just goods and services, but truly personal experiences. This hybrid experience of online and instore is making shopping safe and engaging for customers.”

He continued, “Consumer behavior is constantly evolving, but there is no doubt that has accelerated in 2020. Shoppers now have a better chance to have the best possible shopping experience however they choose to shop, on- or offline. We’re working with many retailers currently, helping them take every precaution to make their stores safe, so they can welcome customers and offer new personal experiences in a relaxed environment all managed through technology.”

* The online survey was conducted by the independent research firm Censuswide in September 2020. The online survey questioned 1000 consumers in each region (US and UK). The respondent sample was managed to ensure equal weighting between the gender and age of respondents. Demographic data was collated in the following age groups: 16-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65+.

About JRNI

JRNI is the experiential relationship management (XRM) platform for scheduling and managing personalized experiences at scale. With apps for facilitating appointments, queuing, and events, plus an industry-leading analytics tool, JRNI helps businesses offer remote and in-person experiences that build stronger customer relationships, improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, and increase revenue and efficiency.