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Mirakl Survey Shows Global Consumers Starting Holiday Shopping Earlier and Increasing Use of Online Marketplaces

2021 Holiday Shopping Snapshot also finds U.S. consumers expect half of holiday shopping to be done online; up from 34% in 2019

Mirakl, the industry’s first and most advanced enterprise marketplace SaaS platform, announced the results of its 2021 Holiday Shopping Snapshot, a global survey of 9,000 consumers from nine countries in AsiaEuropeNorth AmericaSouth America, and Australia. In 2020, the impact of the global pandemic caused online holiday shopping to increase by nearly 50% year-over-year, jumping from 31% in 2019 to 46%. One year later, the average consumer again plans to conduct 46% of all holiday shopping online, even with the reopening of storefronts and shopping centers. Additionally, half of respondents reported starting the shopping process earlier this year than in years past, pointing to the influence of ongoing supply chain disruptions.

“As a result of supply chain disruptions and unpredictable product availability, global consumers are starting their holiday shopping earlier than ever before and using online shopping to avoid disappointment,” said Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and co-CEO of Mirakl. “The data from our Holiday Shopping Snapshot offers proof that many of the temporary behavioral changes originally brought on by the global pandemic are becoming permanent. In particular, shoppers are increasing their use of online marketplaces to help reduce costs and ensure gifts arrive on time, with marketplaces seeing the greatest gains among frequent shoppers.”

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Online shopping shifts toward marketplaces

The increase in online shopping was also reflected in the use of online marketplaces, which has grown as shoppers look for lower prices (60%), faster delivery (50%), and better product selections this holiday season (40%). The report adds new context to the growth of online marketplaces from the consumer’s perspective and further underscores the market opportunity for marketplace operators and businesses looking to sell through these marketplaces.

An early start for holiday shopping

The survey uncovered how the always-on nature of eCommerce, coupled with concerns over supply chain issues and potential product shortages, caused major changes to consumer behavior heading into the 2021 holiday shopping season. Similar to global respondents, Mirakl found more than half (52%) of U.S. consumers are shopping earlier than in previous years for holiday gifts, with 40% of respondents beginning their online holiday shopping in October or earlier. Only 14% of U.S. shoppers plan to wait until Black Friday or Cyber Monday to start their online holiday shopping.

Other key findings from the 2021 Holiday Shopping Snapshot include:

  • Consumers turn to marketplaces for better value: Three in five (60%) shoppers across the globe, including more than half in the U.S., cite better prices as a reason why they’re using online marketplaces this season. Nearly all respondents, including 94% globally and 92% in the U.S., say they plan to maintain (or even increase) their frequency of shopping on online marketplaces.
  • Third-party sellers also benefit from the marketplace boom: Four out of five U.S. respondents said they definitely would or would consider purchasing holiday gifts from third-party sellers through an online marketplace. In fact, millennials and Gen Z are the most likely to buy from third-party sellers on online marketplaces.
  • Supply chain disruptions are causing changes to customer behavior: 42% of U.S. respondents cited shipping delays as a key reason for starting their holiday shopping earlier this year. The same percentage also stated that an early start offers better product selections.


Mirakl surveyed 9,000 consumers globally in nine countries, including 1,000 in the United States, with the goal of understanding their holiday shopping behaviors. The survey was conducted in October 2021 by Schlesinger Group, an independent research firm.

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