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Pitney Bowes Survey Finds That 51% of U.S. Consumers Are Considering Delaying Holiday Purchases Until Early 2022

Press release from the issuing company

In the face of supply chain disruption, U.S. consumers are hopeful for discounts and increased inventory following the holidays

STAMFORD, Conn. - Pitney Bowes, a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services, today released new findings from its BOXpoll® consumer surveys. Recent surveys measured consumers’ awareness of inventory delays during peak season, as well as their outlook and shopping plans moving into 2022.

“We’re seeing that shoppers are paying close attention to headlines about inventory challenges and have tempered their expectations accordingly. Our BOXpoll survey results find that half of consumers (51%) are considering waiting until January or February to make some of their purchases, signaling that the holiday shopping season could last well into early 2022," said Vijay Ramachandran, VP Market Strategy for Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes.

Additional key trends uncovered by the survey include:

  • Among all consumers, 51% are considering waiting until January or February to make purchases they originally planned for the holidays.
  • When looking at younger generations the percentage grows, with about two-thirds of both Gen Zers and Millennials holding out for 2022 sales.
  • Two-thirds (68%) of consumers expect to find a lot of items out of stock this holiday, but only a quarter (26%) hold retailers responsible for delays and shortages.
  • Almost half (45%) of consumers say they didn’t see the deals they expected early in the holiday season, and 43% said they were postponing purchases ahead of the holiday to see the best deals.
  • Two-thirds (69%) of consumers are expecting supply chain issues to continue into early next year, and 62% expect them to continue throughout 2022.

Pitney Bowes also asked survey respondents which items they would consider waiting to purchase until early 2022, rather than purchasing during the holidays. The most popular product category is electronics, with thirty percent of all consumers holding out on electronics purchases, likely due to current inventory shortages, compounded by chip shortages and the promise of discounts on high-value products after the holidays. Apparel comes in at a close second, with one in five (21%) of all consumers, one-third (31%) of Gen Zers, and one-quarter (25%) of Millennials waiting until the new year to make their purchases.

“Beyond waiting for specific product categories, we anticipate consumer plans for early 2022 purchases to be driven heavily by redeeming of gift cards, as uncovered by our recent survey data. This will likely extend the holiday season even longer for retailers,” said Ramachandran.

Given that half of U.S. consumers still plan to purchase holiday gifts during traditional peak season timing this year, Pitney Bowes also surveyed consumer expectations around delivery timing, specifically looking at the importance of Estimated Delivery Dates (EDDs) when purchasing holiday gifts.

Three-quarters (76%) of shoppers say they will contact customer care if their online order doesn’t arrive by the date promised, but that percentage is cut in half if a retailer updates an estimated delivery date in tracking messages.

In a situation where a retailer provides an updated delivery date, more than half of Millennials say they’ll recommend that retailer to friends & family.

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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