New Study Shows the 2023 Holiday Shopping Season Has Already Begun

24% of consumers start their holiday shopping in August or earlier

holiday shopping

Bazaarvoice, a provider of product reviews and user-generated content solutions, has released its latest research, based on a survey of more than 1,000 American consumers. The report explores where, what, when, and how shoppers are purchasing this holiday season, especially during Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend.

Survey highlights include:

  • Shoppers prefer holiday shopping in-store, but not by much: 81% said they will holiday shop in-store, while 72% said online and 22% said on social media.
  • Consumers want to learn about deals through certain avenues: Ads (64%) are where consumers want to hear about Black Friday deals most, but social media (46%), marketing emails from brands (46%), and news articles and gift guides (42%) are not far behind.
  • Social media is a big discovery tool: 49% of consumers follow brands on social media to discover Black Friday deals, 45% are more likely to discover a product via social media than any other channel over Black Friday, and 25% of shoppers prefer to shop via social media over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 63% said they expect to discover new products on social media over the shopping holidays.
  • No matter where they shop, reviews are a top priority: Three quarters (74%) of shoppers agree that reviews impact their purchasing decisions over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, while over half (59%) say the same about their purchasing decisions on social media.
  • Brands need to be holiday-ready now: 11% already holiday shopped in July and 14% in August, while 19% will in September, 35% in October, 57% in November, and 48% in December.
  • Holiday shoppers prioritize big, then local businesses: While large chain retailers (82%) are where people usually holiday shop, small local businesses (58%) beat out online-only ones (55%).
  • The hot ticket items this holiday season: 70% said they’re gifting apparel, 51% said games and toys, 47% said electronics, 40% said food and beverages, 37% said health and beauty, and 36% said jewelry.

“It seems like every year the holiday shopping season starts sooner, and this year it’s already well underway,” said Zarina Lam Stanford, Bazaarvoice CMO. “As purse strings continue to tighten, consumers are on the lookout for deals. To engage and to inspire shoppers to purchase, brands need to ensure that they are meeting their customers with holiday deals at all of the watering holes at which they can be found: social media, e-commerce, in-store, and more. With reviews being a top priority for shoppers, now is the time for brands to assess the recency, volume, and quality of their product reviews and social content including customer photos and videos to validate purchase decisions by authentic and trustworthy voices of their fellow peers.”

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To see more stats from the study, click here.

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