(WHTM) — Black Friday is just days away, but for many, the holiday shopping season has already begun, and shopping habits are changing.
Online shopping surged during the pandemic, and that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
“People got very used to items being delivered very quickly and to their doorsteps,” said Hitha Herzog, chief research analyst with H Squared Research.
A new retail survey shows people are sticking with online shopping for gifts this year. Herzog says they’re even thinking outside the box to make sure those gifts arrive on time.
“To the tune of 45% of the people that we researched and surveyed, they still wanted gifts delivered at top speed and were willing to use a service like DoorDash, which is really used to deliver your meals, to make sure that they got those items delivered to their houses,” Herzog noted.
Herzog says this trend is likely to stick around, and long Black Friday lines may be a thing of the past.
“Years ago, when I first started out as a retail analyst, I would spend Black Friday and, subsequently, Thanksgiving night camped outside of a retailer trying to get an idea of how much traffic the store was going to have, and now we’re completely seeing that flipped over,” Herzog said.
In-store shopping isn’t dead yet, though. Forty-five percent say they will do their holiday shopping in person, and 27% plan to do a mix of both.
The name of the game this year is getting items quickly. “Consumers are used to getting things delivered very quickly and in a timely manner, and they don’t have to put much effort into it. In the past, it was all about the hunt, and now the hunt comes to us,” Herzog said.
Inflation is also playing a role this year, with 80% saying they’re shopping around more for the best deals and discounts. Herzog says to stay on the lookout for those doorbusters, but also make a list of what you need and stick with it.
“There are so many sales happening that things get extremely overwhelming and you just get bombarded and you start buying things that you don’t want. We have to remember that there are still supply chain issues and there are still inflation issues, so you’re going to be paying more for those items, so you don’t want to overspend,” said Herzog.
Shoppers can take advantage of price comparison apps to find the best deals.
“It’s a retailers’ world right now, they are competing for your dollar, so the onus is on the retailer to make sure they have the best pricing out there. And while they have the tools to do that, you also as a consumer can go out and find those best prices,” Herzog said.
Consumers are expected to spend an average of $725 this holiday season, down 8% from last year.