Financial concerns threaten the 2023 holiday shopping season

The economy has finally replaced COVID as the main source of anxiety for consumers as brands prepare for the holiday shopping season.

In fact, financial concerns have surged more than 150% YoY, while concerns about COVID have declined from 52% to 16%. These financial concerns might actually be more pressing than fear of the virus, with those expecting to have a normal holiday shopping season dropping from 60% in 2022 to 49% this year.

The data come from “The Annual Holiday Shopper Survey for Marketers,” a survey of over 900 U.S. consumers polled by the Emodo Institute, the research arm of audience, inventory and creative solutions platform Emodo.

Dig deeper: No matter the time of year, there’s a holiday you should be planning a campaign for

More findings. In addition to the headline findings, the survey also reported that:

  • While more than 60% of women expect the perceived recession to have an impact on their families, fewer than 40% of men share that concern.
  • Hispanic consumers are the most concerned about a financial impact.
  • Consumers say they’re likely to stop shopping later in the season.

The full findings are available here.

Why we care. This might not be a huge sample, although Emodo says it’s representative, but these results constitute an early warning that this year’s holiday shopping days might not equal the resounding successes of 2020 and 2021.

Although financial hardship was certainly experienced by many during the long months of lockdown and remote working, it’s also true that many saved money and had disposable cash when the holidays came around. This year, people may be feeling somewhat safer; but they may also be feeling broke.

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About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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