Popular Gift-Buying Methods

Holiday Shoppers Flock to E-Commerce, But Stores Still Matter

The Most Popular Gift-Buying Methods for Holiday Shoppers This Year

Americans are taking a multi-channel approach to their holiday shopping this year. While e-commerce behemoths are as popular as ever, survey data reveals shoppers still value the in-store experience offered by big box and specialty retailers. Even social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are getting in on the gift-buying bonanza.

  • 70% of shoppers use Amazon etc. for convenience and selection
  • 58% will visit Walmart etc. websites for wider choices and buy online, pick up in-store
  • 37% still plan to shop directly in physical stores to see, touch, and try products
  • 25% will buy gifts directly through social media platforms this holiday season

As the holidays approach, shoppers are turned to a variety of channels to purchase gifts for their loved ones. According to a new survey from The Harris Poll, e-commerce sites like Amazon and mass retailers’ websites are the most popular destinations, but traditional stores and newer platforms like social media also play a major role.

70% of holiday shoppers used e-commerce sites to buy gifts this year. The convenience, variety of items, and deals available on these online mega-retailers likely accounts for much of their popularity during the hectic holiday season.

Coming in second are traditional retailers’ own websites, which 58% of shoppers will utilize. Brands like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have invested heavily in their e-commerce operations and omnichannel capabilities like buy online, pick up in store. For time-crunched shoppers, these sites provide wider selection than individual stores alongside the instant gratification of in-store pickup.

Despite the rise of e-commerce, physical store locations still play a major role. 37% of shoppers say they plan to buy directly from brand stores this holiday season. Shoppers enjoy experiences like strolling the mall to find gift inspiration. Specialty retailers also bank on consumers coming in to see, touch and try products in person.

Beyond the mainstays, social media has emerged as a rising channel for holiday shopping. 25% of shoppers intend to use platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok to purchase their gifts this year. Social commerce taps into influencer marketing and video marketing to inspire consumers.

Shoppers are embracing the full omnichannel experience this holiday season. Retailers who connect seamless online and in-store shopping, while providing festive deals and environments, are primed for sales success. The lines between platforms are blurring as retailers optimize every touchpoint to attract convenience-driven gift buyers.

No matter where Americans choose to shop this season, retailers of all kinds are working overtime to deliver jaw-dropping holiday deals, joyful gift ideas, and festive shopping environments designed to delight consumers in search of the perfect gift.

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