Customer Engagement

76% of Americans say inflation will impact holiday spending

Consumers are increasingly choosing gift cards as gifts this year, especially as businesses offer more promotions, deals and discounts to combat shoppers' inflation fatigue.

Givex, the cloud-based global customer engagement and business insights platform, has released the Givex 2023 Holiday Gift Card Survey and insights into consumer trends for the upcoming holiday shopping season. The data came from a survey commissioned by Givex of over 1,000 Americans, with a focus on American consumer shopping behavior and trends for the 2023 holiday season.

According to the Givex 2023 Holiday Gift Card Survey, inflation will indeed impact the gift-giving plans of 76% of respondents this holiday season, a 10% increase from 2022. This proportion varies only moderately with income — 79% of those with a household income below $50,000 agree, as do 69% of those with an income of $100,000 or more.

“In the current economic climate, people are understandably being a bit more cautious with their holiday spending,” said Mo Chaar, the Chief Commercial Officer at Givex. “Businesses that understand these current consumer trends can tailor their offerings accordingly. Gift cards, for example, can become a vital tool for businesses this holiday season — they offer shoppers a simple way to ensure that the money they spend on gifts matches what their loved ones actually want. Keeping these customer preferences in mind can help businesses boost their holiday sales and improve overall engagement.”

Key findings from the survey include:

Early Shopping Trends Amidst Inflation

  • Nearly half of the consumers (49%) are responding to economic pressures by shopping earlier, with intentions to capitalize on the influx of promotions kicking off as early as October.

The Digital Gift Card Surge

  • 70% of respondents say they are more likely to purchase a digital gift card than a physical gift card for someone else, a 6% increase from 2022.
    • About one-third of Americans (32%) prefer to receive a digital, rather than a physical, gift card.
    • This proportion is higher among those aged 18-34 (39%) than those 55 and up (24%).
  • Givex data indicates that this shift isn’t just about convenience but a broader move toward digital shopping experiences, with enhancements like animations adding a personalized touch to digital gifting.

Credit and Restaurant Gift Cards in High Demand

  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents chose credit card gift cards as their preferred option to receive.
    • With a 3% increase from the previous year, restaurant gift cards stand out as the second most coveted gift card type.
  • Half of Americans plan to invest at least $100 in gift cards this holiday season.

Cyber Monday Overtaking Black Friday in Popularity

  • According to Givex data, Black Friday gift card shopping is decreasing Year Over Year (YOY) (value sold was down 13.8%), while Cyber Monday gift card shopping is increasing YOY (value sold was up 14.2%).
    • 30% of all gift card sales for the year take place between Black Friday and Christmas Eve.

As the holiday shopping season peaks over the next couple of months, inflation will certainly impact American spending, which is why gift cards remain in high demand. The 2023 Givex Holiday Gift Card Survey findings enable business owners to make strategic and timely decisions to maximize their revenue potential this holiday season.

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