How consumers plan to tackle holiday shopping

The season of giving is here, meaning shopping for gifts and festive treats is top of mind for brands, retailers, and consumers alike. Though half will be purchasing in-store, most shoppers plan to look to their mobile devices before they buy. A whopping eighty-four percent will rely on their phones to research, compare prices, find inspiration, read reviews, and more right in the aisle or while browsing shelves.

Half of shoppers, across generations, plan to do the bulk of their holiday shopping at brick-and-mortar retailers. And this year shopping starts early, with 35 percent planning to do most of their gift shopping before sitting down with friends and family over turkey on Thanksgiving. 

Shopkick surveyed nearly 30,000 users across the country to get insight on when, where and how they’ll be shopping, how much they plan to spend this year, and how these habits differ among generations.

Holiday Headlines 

In the survey, the following stood out as major trends in the 2019 season:

  • Early Birds: Only three percent of shoppers plan to do the bulk of their shopping on Cyber Monday. Instead, shoppers plan to check items off their lists before Thanksgiving (35 percent), between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (23 percent), and on Black Friday (19 percent). 
  • Big Box vs. Amazon: While the majority will do most of their holiday shopping at big box retailers like Target or Walmart (53 percent), 1 in 5 plan to find gifts via Amazon.
  • In-Store Inspo: Nearly thirty percent plan to shop in-store for their holiday goods because they find better inspiration in person versus online. Others shop physical retail for easy price comparisons (25 percent), overall convenience (20 percent), and to browse a wider variety of product options (14 percent). 
  • Incentives Galore: Forty-two percent of shoppers say low prices are the most important incentive, followed by free shipping (31 percent), rewards programs (10 percent), and easy returns (6 percent).
  • Tech the Halls: Shoppers will spend more on electronics than any other category, including toys, apparel, and accessories (34 percent, 21 percent, 20 percent, and 8 percent, respectively). 

Generational Insights

Across generations, several trends appeared, including:

  • In-Store Leaders: Baby Boomers and Generation Z lead the in-store charge, with 54 and 55 percent, respectively, saying they will do the majority of their holiday shopping at brick and mortar locations. 
  • Deal Days: Gen Z are the most likely to shop on Black Friday (74 percent), while Millennials are the most likely to shop on Cyber Monday (68 percent). 
  • Thrifty Thanksgiving: Gen Z is the most likely to shop on Thanksgiving Day (41 percent) and more than 4 in 5 plan to do so in physical stores (83 percent).
  • Mobile Millennials: More Millennials (32 percent) plan to do the majority of their holiday shopping on mobile phones. Meanwhile, Gen Z is the most likely to use their phones in aisle (76 percent). 
  • Toys and Tech: Of all generations surveyed, Gen X plans to spend most on electronics, followed by Gen Z (40 percent and 35 percent, respectively). Millennial spending tops out with toys (30 percent). 
  • Tariff Tug-O-War: Gen Z is the most likely to factor the effect of tariffs into their holiday spending (57 percent).

Shopkick conducted a survey of 29,847 users to gain insights into holiday shopping habits and attitudes. The survey was conducted between June 6 and June 19, 2019. 



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Dima Volovik

EVP of Product and Engineering

Dima Volovik is the EVP of Product and Engineering at Trax Retail — Shopkick.

Dima Volovik is the accomplished product and engineering leader who led teams to deliver innovative and commercially successful e-commerce products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions for Amazon, Comcast, Fandango, and Universal Music. Before joining Trax, Dima was the Director at Amazon, where he led product development and Engineering for Amazon Appstore and Amazon Prime Video, CTO at Fandango, and Paciolan, head of technology at Golf Channel/Golf Now, and Global VP of Direct to Consumer Technology at Universal Music Group. Dima’s expertise includes developing consumer products, marketplaces, and enterprise solutions.

Dima grew up in Baku, Azerbaijan, where he received his MS in Electrical Engineering from Azerbaijan Oil Academy, and he currently resides in Los Angeles, California, with his family.