Consumers chime in on 2020 holiday shopping—what can marketers expect?

by | Oct 12, 2020 | Marketing, Public Relations

No one is quite sure what to expect in this year’s holiday-shopping season, but a new survey of consumers from comms firm 5W Public Relations reveals insights that holiday marketers and PR can use to plot their expected behaviors.

The new survey includes data on the amount people plan to spend, shopping methods, timing, and top gifts people plan to purchase for their loved ones this season. The findings will be especially useful to brands trying to tap into consumer thinking and spending after months of economic uncertainties due to the coronavirus.

“There are many questions regarding how the coronavirus will impact holiday shopping habits and preferences,” said Dara A. Busch, 5WPR President, in a news release. “As publicists, it’s important that we guide our clients through these tough times. These insights play an integral part in understanding consumer motivations, and help guide our recommendations to clients on how and where they should be focusing their communications efforts.”

Key findings

When it comes to favorable shopping methods, adjusted store hours and closings, several major retailers have decided to keep their doors shut on Black Friday, lending to the idea that online will be the preferred method of shopping. However, an overwhelming 61 percent of people surveyed still plan to buy gifts both online and in store. Surprisingly, only 18 percent plan to do all of their shopping online. Furthermore, 54 percent of Americans are going to be finding ideas for holiday gifts in store, meaning shopping in person is still going to be very much a part of this holiday season.

Economic woes aside, 53 percent of Americans still plan to spend the same amount of money on gifts as they did in 2019, and 18 percent of respondents claim that they plan to spend even more than they did last year.

“Americans experienced a shutdown that was previously unimaginable. As cities and stores continue to lift heavy restrictions, shoppers are looking for an escape that heading out to the store provides,” said Busch. “Consumers will be searching for a sense of normalcy to get them into the spirit, and in-store shopping for gifts is one of the oldest holiday traditions. This creates a huge opportunity for brick and mortar stores that have been struggling to attract clientele even before temporarily closing their doors in response to the pandemic.”

Consumers chime in on 2020 holiday shopping—what can marketers expect?

5WPR’s Holiday Shopping Survey was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,000 respondents aged 16+ in the USA between 14.09.20-18.09.20. The survey was conducted from a nationally representative of American adults. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

Daily PR Updates

Essential PR industry news, opinion, and analysis delivered to your inbox daily.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at; @BulldogReporter


8 tactical ways to use email campaigns for PR

8 tactical ways to use email campaigns for PR

Public relations has a direct impact on your brand visibility and how people relate to you. If public relations is directly proportional to brand awareness, email marketing also influences the reach of your brand. In other words, PR and email marketing can work in a...

4 essential branding tips for hospitality marketers

4 essential branding tips for hospitality marketers

Whether someone is traveling for business or leisure purposes, choosing which hotel to stay in is top of the priority list. They will consider several factors when making their decision including the price and the location, but another key point of comparison is the...