Survey: Holiday shoppers receptive to hearing from retailers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture
Many holiday shoppers are willing to receive communications from retailers.

A new survey reveals the types of communication most consumers want to receive from retailers this holiday season.

Nearly nine in 10 (87%) consumers would want to receive communications from retailers they shop or want to shop with, according to the Holiday Shopping Communications Survey of over 2,000 adult consumers from cloud-based business communications platform Plivo. The figure includes 74% of respondents who would opt into receiving SMS/text messages from retailers, primarily for shipping/delivery notices and updates (45%) and coupons (43%); as well as 66% who would be receptive to email communications.

Specifically examining results from the 1,200-plus respondents who plan on shopping for the holidays in 2021, the survey finds that 93% of holiday shoppers would want to receive communications from retailers they shop with or want to shop with. Their preferred form of communication is email (70%) followed by SMS text messaging (41%).

Holiday shoppers ages 35 and up are more likely than those ages 18-34 to want to receive direct mail communications from retailers they shop with or want to shop with (40% vs. 21%). Meanwhile, younger holiday shoppers ages 18-44 are about three times more likely than those 45 and older to want to receive in-app messaging from retailers (32% vs. 10%).

More than eight in 10 (83%) of holiday shoppers would opt in to receive SMS text messages from retailers, with the top notification types being shipping/delivery notices and updates (54%) and coupons (52%). And holiday shoppers ages 18-64 are more than twice as likely than those 65 and older to opt in to receive curbside pickup notifications (35% vs. 15%).

In addition to willingness to being contacted by retailers, a recent survey from the American Marketing Association-New York reveals that consumers are willing to share certain types of personal data with retailers. More than half of surveyed consumers said they would accept retailer collection of their email address (66%), age (55%), and name (54%). 

Collection of consumer locations is accepted by 42% of respondents to the AMA-NY survey, and ethnicity by 40%. Other types of data collection were accepted by fewer than three in 10 surveyed consumers, including Internet browsing history (29%), internet purchase history (26%), religion (25%), sexual orientation (25%), and party identification (24%).

“With ongoing supply chain disruptions, shipping issues and shortages of key products such as microchips, holiday shopping is going to look pretty different this year,” said Anusha Venkat, product manager for Plivo Messaging. “To help consumers cope with these changes, and prevent gift-givers from feeling stressed and frustrated, retailers need to be smart about how they communicate with customers — reaching out to them at the right time, with the right message, via the right channel.”

The Holiday Shopping Communications Survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Plivo, polling over 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older.