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2018 Holiday Shopping Trends



Holiday shopping is gearing up for another year, with 89% of Americans planning to buy gifts for their friends, families, and loved ones this holiday season. With e-commerce sales growing at a rapid rate, the popularity of online shopping has hit an all time high in the past year. Shoppers plan to spend more than ever in the 2018 holiday season, even while many are still paying off debt from last year's holiday purchases. Here's what you need to know about the growing holiday shopping spree trends: 


Spending is Increasing:


  • Holiday shoppers plan to spend $776 on average this holiday season -- $116 more than last year, an 18% increase from 2017. 
  • Generation X plans to spend significantly more on average than other generations with a planned budget of $992
  • Generational spending differences could be a result of income, with earnings usually increasing with age until retirementgenerations-holiday-spending-480x450
  • About 51% of all Americans expect to overspend on holiday gifts, based on past spending habits
  • Only 16% regret overspending on holiday gifts: younger generations spend less on average, but are more likely to admit to typically overspending
  • Men plan to spend more than women, spending an average of $128 more
  • Men are also more likely to use a credit card than women -- 79% of men plan to use credit cards for holidays shopping versus 67% of women
  • Those who are using credit cards anticipate they'll charge more on average, with men expecting to charge around $717 compared to the $577 women anticipate putting on their card


 Shoppers Turning to Credit Cards

  • Nearly three-quarters (73%) of holiday shoppers plan to use a credit card to purchase some of their gifts this year, compared to 58% of shoppers last year
  • This year, those charging gifts predict they'll put an average of $650 on their cardscc-holiday-debt-1-480x377
  • Spending budgets are higher, but confidence levels concerning paying down credit card debt are down
  • Those who plan to charge some of their holiday gifts estimate it will take about 3 months to pay off that debt
  • 28% of Americans who incurred credit card debt (39.4 million) are still paying off 2017's holiday balances.
  • Of those who used credit cards last year to do their holiday shopping, those with a household income of less than $100,000 are more likely to still be paying off last year's holiday debt
  • Holiday shoppers who put the estimated $776 on a credit card and make only the minimum payments will pay an average of $295 in interest over a 4.4 year period before reaching a zero balance


Online Shopping Beating Out the Competition

  •  Online shopping is on the rise, with 47% of shoppers preferring to use credit cards for online purchasesCapture
  • Seven in ten Americans plan to shop on Black Friday, with over half shopping online and 40% shopping in-store
  • Those who prefer retail stores list the tactile experience as a top reason for not shopping online, and 48% of those who shop in store believe they're getting the best deals
  • 68% of Americans plan on shopping online for Cyber Monday 
  • Younger generations are taking advantage of online shopping loans, with 49% of millennials planning to shop likely to use layaway by making monthly payments for smaller items
  • 123.5 billion dollars are projected to be spent online in 2018 for holiday shopping, up from last year
  • 56% of shopping traffic was driven by mobile viewing, but 67% of actual revenue was driven by desktop users
  • 8.8 billion data points were collected during last year's Black Friday in the form of email signups and other lead-generation tactics, with 3 billion emails sent during the holiday
  • 76% of U.S. shoppers purchased at least a quarter of their gifts online in the last holiday shopping season



Key Takeaways

This holiday season, shoppers are planning to spend more, charge more, utilize online offers, and take longer to pay off credit card balances from this season's spending. Some 2017 shoppers are still paying off their credit card balances from last year's holiday season. Men plan to spend more and charge more than women. The shift to online shopping is even more prevalent than ever, with over half of Americans planning to shop online for the biggest shopping holiday of the year -- Black Friday.


Traffic to online retailers are being driven by mobile users, but revenue is still primarily being generated by desktop users. More people than ever are willing to sign up for emails, and click through emails are driving large ROI's up during the holiday season. When shopping online and even in stores, shoppers expect an easy, tailored experience that allows them to smoothly and easily make their purchases. Younger generations plan to use shopping loans for smaller purchases, and rely less on budgeting while admitting to overspending. Older generations tend to spend more, but plan better. 


Nora Dillon

Written by Nora Dillon

Nora is an Account Manager at Altair who specializes in finding the best audiences for your marketing needs.

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