Despite some consumers becoming increasingly cost conscious amid continued supply chain disruptions and inflation, new research from Wunderkind, a leading performance marketing channel that scales one-to-one messages for top brands, publishers, and advertisers, found online shopping remains king, with 71% of US consumers planning to shop online this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

As part of its 2022 Consumer Market Insights Report, Wunderkind sought to uncover this year’s attitudes around holiday shopping, including price consciousness, shopping online versus in-store, preferred brand communication channels and purchase decision making, to help brands better understand their customers as they navigate ongoing economic and societal uncertainty.

The State of eCommerce and Holiday Shopping

Consumer sentiment around shopping online remains at an all-time high. In fact, research found US consumers plan to spend more this Black Friday (40%) and Cyber Monday (31%) compared to their purchases on Amazon Prime Day, which reached a whopping $12B in online sales earlier this year. Research also shows Cyber Week is set to grow by 12% this year alone.

Further, as consumers prepare to shop this holiday season, close to half (48.8%) report planning to take advantage of Buy Now, Pay Later options and will be comparing prices/investigating deals more this year than last year (46.2%).

“Consumers have become smarter about how they spend their money, which has changed the way they shop and the criteria that leads them to commit to a particular product or retailer,” said Richard Jones, Chief Revenue Officer at Wunderkind. “As brands prepare for the most important revenue-generating season of the year, they must emphasize holiday deals, discounts, low prices, and budget-friendliness now. If products are unavailable or misaligned with consumers’ budgets, even the most loyal shoppers will look elsewhere.”

Email Holds Buying Power

As brands look for ways to connect with consumers leading up to the holiday season, the answer may be in how they communicate availability and pricing. In fact, the report found that consumers will rely heavily on emails from their favorite brands to learn about general sales (79.6%), unique price drops (74.8%), loyalty programs (76.2%), coupon codes (73.4%) and reminders of items in their carts (77.8%).

Nearly seven-in-ten respondents also said emails from brands encourage them to take advantage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, while nearly two-thirds (62.8%) like to be reminded of brands’ Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals via email.

“Online shopping is here to stay and has unlocked not only new revenue streams for brands, but ways for consumers to save time and money while discovering new products from the comfort of their home or on-the-go,” said Michael Osborne, President at Wunderkind. “With so many shoppers planning to shop online this holiday season, now is the time for retailers to refine their strategy and customize messaging to ensure they foster positive engagement with customers.”

Conscious Holiday Shoppers

The report also reveals that shoppers are shifting their focus to economic and societal factors, with the following mattering the most in making a purchase decision this Black Friday/Cyber Monday:

Price83.2 %
Availability55.6 %
Brand Values31.8 %
Delivery Window24.8 %

Surveyed consumers also plan on gifting clothes & shoes (63.2%), gift cards (52.6%), video games (43.4%), and other tech goods (42.8%), including phones, tablets, headphones/earphones, laptops, monitors, etc.). As for other influences on their final gifting decisions, consumers say they will look to customer reviews, word of mouth, gift guides and Instagram ads as sources.

Shoppers are also taking into consideration brands’ efforts around sustainability (42.8%), fair wages (38%) and diversity/inclusion (36.4%) – demonstrating the opportunity for brands to not only communicate about promotions, rewards, and other marketing efforts, but also to engage consumers around their company-level actions on social, economic, and environmental factors.

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