Coveo Survey Reveals 45% of Consumers Will Start Holiday Shopping Earlier Than Past Holiday Peak Periods in Search of Deals Given Rising Costs

Survey also found that consumer shopping is not slowing down despite economic concerns, with 80% of consumers planning to shop as much or more this holiday season as compared to last year

Coveo, a leader in relevance platforms that helps to transform search, recommendations, and personalization within digital experiences, announced a new report titled, 2022 Holiday Shopping Report: Spending Trends & Impact, which unveils findings from a summer 2022 survey of 4,000 U.S. and U.K. consumers. Conducted by Coveo in partnership with Arlington Research, the report provides analysis of shopper sentiment and plans for the upcoming holiday season and reveals surprising trends and macro and microeconomic factors impacting this holiday shopping season.

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A large majority of respondents (80%) said that they plan to shop the same or more during the upcoming holiday season compared with past years. Interestingly, nearly one in two shoppers (45%) said they will start their shopping earlier than usual to find deals and discounts given the rising cost and availability of goods.

“Despite the rising cost of living, we continue to see strong interest in shopping for the upcoming holidays, though brands should note the anticipated behavioral changes related to shopping timeframes, generational mindsets, and expectations for intertwined online-offline customer experiences,” Brian McGlynn, General Manager of commerce at Coveo. “As economic conditions continue to fluctuate, we believe retailers must keep up with shopper behavior trends and test assumptions to keep the customer experiences relevant at all times and the focus on profitability and performance will be even more necessitated.”

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The survey unveiled several insights on current shopper sentiment and behavior trends, including:

  • Having a physical retail presence may help with ecommerce sales: While 54% of consumers said they are likely to look at a product online and buy it in-store, an almost identical number (53%) reported being likely to look at a product in-store and buy it online. Physical stores driving growth across all channels will continue throughout 2022, according to multiple retail experts.
  • Uncertain logistics and restrictive return policies negatively impact conversions: Abandonment and bounce rates are always significant challenges for retailers, and according to Coveo’s survey, 42% of shoppers explicitly said they will leave a site if shipping options are limited or they don’t have a buy online pick-up in store option (BOPIS). Also noteworthy is that 35% of respondents said they are turned off by restrictive returns policies.
  • Generational differences in shopping attitudes with Gen Z as main standout: There were notable patterns across different generations that retailers should prepare for as the seasonal peaks approach. Specifically, when asked about brands between this year and last, compared to other generations, Gen Z is more apt to buy luxury goods online (28% vs. 15% overall), more loyal to brands they shopped last year (41% vs. 23% overall), and more likely to factor sustainability into buying decisions (64% vs. 25% overall).
  • Brand loyalty continues to reign, especially with older generations: Millennials (58%), Gen Xers (67%), Baby Boomers (75%), and the Silent Generation (77%) all stayed loyal to the brands they liked in the last year.
  • Motivating factors go beyond discounts: Approximately two-thirds (67%) of people surveyed this summer are interested in product recommendations, tailored offers, discounts, and promotions. This, combined with the likelihood of spreading out purchases to take advantage of deals, means retailers should note that although many consumers are shopping more online, it may be more challenging to translate the interest into a higher Average Order Value (AOV).

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