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Pitney Bowes Survey: More than Half of U.S. Has Started Holiday Shopping; Increased Gift Card Spending Will Extend Holiday Shipping into January

Press release from the issuing company

One-third prefer both sending and receiving gift cards more than they did a year ago

STAMFORD, Conn. - Pitney Bowes, a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services, today released new findings from its weekly BOXpoll® consumer survey days before Black Friday / Cyber Monday (BFCM) weekend.

“Compared to last year, U.S. consumers are shopping earlier and plan to take greater advantage of Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals, ship more gifts to more loved ones, and increase spending on gift cards,” said Vijay Ramachandran, VP Market Strategy for Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes.

Key trends heading into the heart of the holiday shopping season include:

  • More than 50% of US consumers have already started shopping for the holidays and those early shoppers have completed nearly half (46%) of their planned purchases.
  • 1 in 3 consumers plan to shop BFCM deals more this year vs. last year. Only 12% say they will shop BFCM deals less.
  • Black Friday has become an online-first shopping holiday with 78% of consumers planning to do their deal hunting online. – Morning Consult.
  • The majority of consumers expect BFCM deals to last all season long. – Morning Consult
  • Consumers will do most of their holiday shopping in the next three weeks, with 63% planning to finish online shopping by December 13.
  • With travel still below pre-pandemic levels, 60% of consumers plan to ship their holiday gifts to an average of five recipients this year

The year of the gift card?

Amidst supply chain anxieties and lingering COVID-19 concerns, nearly one-third of consumers plan to buy gift cards online as part of their holiday shopping this year. Nearly one-third also have a greater preference for both sending and receiving gift cards than they did a year ago.

Ramachandran said, “Those waiting until the last minute to shop are likely to be impacted most by inventory shortages and shipping delays and will probably also turn to gift cards to finish their shopping. That means the holiday shopping and shipping season could last well into January as consumers use those gift cards.”

  • Millennials drive gift card spending across nearly all product categories, representing more than one-third (37%) of dollars typically spent.
  • General merchandise store brands like Amazon, Walmart and Target rank number one for both gift card popularity and spending, with nearly three in four (74%) shoppers saying they’ve purchased a general merchandise store gift card, spending an average of $56.90.
  • Apparel and footwear come in second ($51.05), with electronics following at a close third place ($50.60).
  • Most consumers who receive a gift card (58%) plan to spend it either within days or a few weeks after the holiday.
  • Methodology

The BOXpoll® consumer survey by Pitney Bowes is a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture and ecommerce logistics. Morning Consult conducts weekly polls on behalf of Pitney Bowes among a national sample of more than 2,000 online shoppers. The results included in this press release are extracted from surveys conducted over the past month. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points. Visit www.pitneybowes.com/boxpoll for the latest BOXpoll findings.

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