Nearly All U.S. Consumers Plan Majority of Holiday Shopping Online

Consumers are shunning brick-and-mortar stores this holiday season with over 95 percent choosing to buy half or more of their gifts online, according to the results of a new study from multi-channel engagement platform Leanplum.

Younger Americans (Millennials and Gen Zs) are leading the online shopping trend and over 16 percent are “only” shopping online this holiday season. 

As shopping online and via mobile devices quickly becomes the new norm, personalized communication becomes even more crucial to brand success.

With 80 percent of respondents reporting that they shop on their mobile phones, brands need solutions that enable them to reach their customers at appropriate touchpoints. Brands must successfully connect the right way and at the right time with their customers. 

Three-quarters of shoppers find it helpful to receive emails from retailers regarding deals and promotions.

Interestingly, 74 percent of those surveyed said they were “excited” to receive notifications from retailers about offers/sales.

After receiving a notification from a brand about a deal, almost 70 percent said they would check out the offer and probably purchase the item. 

However, 75 percent of respondents said generic messages from retailers annoy or bother them. Consumers have a preference for when and how they would like to receive messages from retailers.

It is imperative retailers communicate with their consumers regularly regarding topics that are useful to them and in the form that they are most comfortable engaging with, to ensure consumer satisfaction and retention. 

“Personalizing customer experience and communication is the cornerstone of everything we do at Afterpay,” said Frazer Adnam, CRM marketing director at Afterpay, a Leanplum customer. “Christmas is a key trading period for Afterpay and the retail sector, so it’s imperative we deliver a world-class personalization experience to our customers and make trading seamless.”

Across all income levels, consumers reported sales as the primary reason they opened notifications from brands and retailers.

Surprisingly, even respondents who earn $150,000 or more annually, stated they are most excited to receive push notifications from retailers regarding sales.

Gone are the days of coupon clipping, instead consumers prefer to receive discounts and deals from brands via email.

In fact, two-thirds of respondents reported they open emails from brands they believed contained product deals or sales.

When asked about favorite shopping apps, the Amazon app dominated with 82 percent of the vote. Walmart was a very distant second with five percent of the vote, followed by second-hand marketplaces (eBay/Poshmark/ThredUp) at four percent and Target at three percent. 

Consumers had opinions about how brands communicate with them as well. Sweden’s H&M handily beat out other brands with 19 percent of the vote.

Urban Outfitters (12 percent), Asos (four percent), Zara (four percent) and Brandy Melville (two percent) rounded out the top five best brands at communicating with consumers. 

“As shopping habits shift online and away from brick-and-mortar stores, brands must adjust to communicate with their customers via mobile,” said Momchil Kyurkchiev, CEO and co-founder of Leanplum. “Through our research, we see that it’s important that brands provide a personalized experience for each customer. At Leanplum, our core mission is to enable our customers to consistently deliver relevant, timely and personalized communications to their end users.”

Other interesting statistics include:

  • Nearly half (46 percent) of respondents said that they’ve bought a product because it was shown in an app or sent in an email 
  • Over half (52 percent) of Millennials and Gen Zs will shop on Cyber Monday and Black Friday compared to just over a third of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers
  • About two-thirds of respondents that make $150,000 or more annually plan to do most of their holiday shopping online this year

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