According to The NPD Group, consumers will look to splurge on their own needs and deal with the guilt of missing in-person celebrations this holiday season.
The market research company’s annual holiday purchase intentions study reveals that three in ten holiday shoppers are planning to spend more than last year because they have fewer expenses related to activities like dining out and travel, and 40% of consumers will buy more gifts to bring joy during challenging times due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Splurges on both “guilt-gifting” and self-gifting will be significant components of the consumer’s retail therapy during Holiday 2020,” says Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief industry advisor, retail. “While the emphasis will continue to be on items that are useful to the consumer’s new way of life, the holidays are likely to prompt upgrades to up the ante on many of those practical purchases.”
NPD’s survey finds that more than 40% of holiday shoppers will be shipping most of their gifts since they won’t be seeing family and friends. Gifts that are easier and less costly to ship will be big, such as gift cards and food subscriptions. 53% of consumers plan to give gift cards for the holidays, up from 45% last year, and food subscriptions will be the #1 type of planned subscription service gift, followed by streaming service subscriptions.
“If there is pent-up demand for anything this holiday season, it is normalcy,” says Cohen. “This season’s gift-giving will be reflective of the time in which we are living, and the needs that go along with that, but the opportunities for growth lie in the innovative options that help consumers create the holiday cheer they are craving.”