As the holiday season approaches, several factors could be influencing consumer behaviour. On one hand, a slow return to normalcy after two holiday seasons dominated by the Covid-19 pandemic could encourage people to want to spend more as they celebrate with a wider group of family and friends. On the other hand, a looming potential recession, inflation and other economic issues could be dampening spending plans.
Near Research surveyed over 500 Australian consumers and 500 U.S. consumers about their holiday shopping plans, retail preferences and more. We will be including the full results in our upcoming report, The New World of Consumer Behaviour: Retail 2022. Here’s a sneak peek at the results from Australia.
People are embracing omnichannel shopping behaviours:
The responses showed that Australian consumers are regularly shopping both online and in-store, and frequently make a purchase with a combination of online & in-store research & purchasing.
- Respondents reported shopping online an average of 3.7 times in the past month, and shopping in stores 4.6 times in the past month.
- More than half of respondents (52%) said that they have used a combination of online and in-store shopping for a single purchase (either finding a product in-store and buying online, or researching online then buying in-store)
- The top shopping behaviour was shopping & buying online, followed by in-store:
Covid-19 is still impacting people’s shopping behaviours:
87% of respondents said Covid-19 still affected their shopping behaviours in recent months, with shoppers taking a range of precautions. The top precautions respondents are taking:
Australians plan to spend more this holiday season, despite the economic downturn:
While the economy is definitely weighing on the minds of most Australians, they are still planning to spend more on average, and are on the lookout for deals.
- 39% of respondents say they plan to spend more this holiday season than last year, while 41% plan to spend the same amount. Just 20% plan to spend less than last year.
- However, 87% said they are factoring the state of the economy into their shopping plans, with 53% saying the economy is affecting their plans a little, and 34% saying it’s affecting their plans a lot.
- 93% of shoppers say they’re taking steps to find bargains. The top 3 approaches to finding deals are:
Deal Seeking Behaviours
Most Australians are planning to shop over Black Friday weekend:
Black Friday is a popular time to shop – 52% of respondents confirmed they’re planning to do holiday shopping over the Black Friday weekend, and another 28% weren’t sure yet.
- Notably, Australian shoppers were more likely to say they’re planning to shop around Black Friday than American shoppers (52% vs. 42% in the U.S.)
- Shoppers are planning to get an early start – 68% of shoppers planned to start holiday shopping before Black Friday, and 28% plan to start shopping before November.
Big Box stores will get big business for holiday shopping:
Respondents ranked Big Box stores, like Target, Big W, Bing Lee and others, as their top place to do their holiday shopping. Shopping Malls, Department Stores and Clothing Stores were also popular choices for shoppers. Despite 47% of respondents saying they’re planning to shop at bargain retailers, fewer respondents said they’re planning to shop at Outlet Stores (21%) or Discount Stores (20%).
Categories of stores where people are planning to do their holiday shopping:
Big Box Stores
(e.g. Big W, Target, Bing Lee, JB Hi-fi)
(e.g. cosmetics, sporting goods, books)
(e.g. Myers, David Jones)
(e.g. H&M, Cotton On)
(e.g. Hot Dollar, Dollar King)
Implications for retailers:
Retailers should be taking some key steps now to ensure a strong holiday shopping season:
- Prepare for shoppers to start early. With consumers looking to avoid shipping delays and find bargains, they’re ready to start their shopping soon, with more than a quarter starting their holiday shopping before November.
- Deliver a cohesive shopping experience across in-store and digital platforms. With more than half of shoppers saying they’re using omnichannel approaches, such as researching online and buying in-store, it’s critical to make that experience seamless.
- Offer Black Friday bargains. With 52% of respondents eager to shop and find deals over Black Friday to Cyber Monday, retailers should look to lure shoppers in with enticing offers.
- Use data to deeply understand consumers and how to market to them.
With so many factors influencing consumer behaviour, it’s critical to turn to data to understand their behaviour in real-time. With human movement data, you can not only track these trends, but leverage data to maximise marketing spend through bespoke audience targeting, in-store footfall tracking, location-based targeting, and more.
Survey conducted August 17-22, 2022 with 509 respondents in Australia and 634 in the United States, Census-weighted by age, gender, income and region.