Skip to main content

Accenture: Holiday shoppers shift online, want Thanksgiving store closures

Three in four consumers will make online holiday purchases and want store employees to celebrate Thanksgiving at home.

According to the 14th annual Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey, 75% of respondents will do at least some of their holiday shopping online, up from 65% in 2019, while 43% plan to shop exclusively online this holiday season. Even though many retailers have been offering curbside and other contactless options at their stores due to the pandemic, 77% of shoppers still want their purchases delivered directly to their homes, with only 11% willing to pick up purchases in-store and the same percentage willing to use contactless options like locker or curbside pick-up.

More than half (56%) of respondents said they won’t shop with a retailer again after an unsatisfactory delivery experience. One way that retailers could get consumers back in stores for the holidays is through appointment-based shopping. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers said that booking a time to shop in person could inspire them to physically return to a department store, consumer electronics retailer or homewares retailer.

In addition, three-quarters (76%) of the more than 1,500 U.S. consumers surveyed said they want retailers to close on Thanksgiving Day. Slightly more than half of those cited the desire to give workers a well-deserved day off, with the remainder saying retail workers should spend the holiday with their families.

The survey also revealed that apparel retailers could regain some ground this holiday season after a tough retail period. Six in 10 respondents (61%) said they would purchase as many or more clothing gifts than last year, making clothing the second-most-likely purchase this season, behind only gift cards (cited by 64% of respondents).

Some other findings from the survey:

  • Although 44% of consumers plan to spend the same amount on holiday shopping this year as they did last year, 41% said they expect to spend less — nearly triple the number from 2019 — and only 15% said they plan to spend more. On average, respondents said they expect to spend approximately $540 on holiday shopping this year, a 15% drop from last year.
  • Nearly one-third (30%) of consumers said they plan to start their holiday shopping earlier this year for fear of not getting what they want if they wait until after Thanksgiving. Furthermore, most respondents said they’re less inclined to shop on Black Friday (64%) and Cyber Monday (59%) than they were a few years ago — up from 55% and 47%, respectively, in 2019.
  • Four in 10 respondents (40%) said they plan to support and shop at minority-owned businesses, and 39% said they will shop with retailers that support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Accenture surveyed 1,517 U.S. consumers online, each of whom had purchased an item for personal use either online or in a store within the previous six months.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds