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The top digital holiday shopping channel is…

Holiday shoppers are increasingly visiting online marketplaces.

Holiday shoppers are increasingly visiting online marketplaces.

Roughly one in every two online orders made over the 2023 holiday season is expected to be made through an online marketplace, according to “The Holiday Shopping Trends Report 2023,” a global survey of consumers and retailers from Auctane, the parent brand of ShipStation. The survey estimates that online marketplaces will account for $253 billion of global sales during the holidays, with North America expected to account for the majority of this spend ($183 billion).

[Read more: Will holiday shoppers go online?]

U.S. holiday spending looks strong

The survey reveals that three in four consumers surveyed globally plan to decrease their spending over the holiday season, up from almost six in 10 (58%) in 2022. However, shopper respondents in the U.S. are the most likely to spend, with two- thirds of U.S. consumers  surveyed planning to either spend the same (44%) or more (22%) than they did last year.

In addition, 41% of surveyed U.S. holiday shoppers said they would begin their holiday shopping before October. One in four retailer respondents intend to increase their holiday promotion frequency this year, with the same percentage having planned to launch promotions before October.

Delivery speed takes priority

Globally, surveyed consumers have an increased interest in delivery speed, parcel visibility, and flexible returns, while interest in delivery costs have decreased. Half of all consumer respondents expect an online purchase to arrive within two days during the holiday season (as standard), including 62% in the U.S.

More than half of all surveyed consumers report being willing to pay up to $9 extra for same-day, next-day, or scheduled delivery services during the holiday season. Meanwhile, missing or stolen parcels topped the list for U.S. respondents.

“Our research reaffirms that consumers’ expectations for the brands they shop with rise and evolve during the holiday season,” said Al Ko, CEO of Auctane, parent brand of ShipStation. “This year, we anticipate that consumers will be more mindful, earlier spenders, do the majority of their holiday shopping online, and request faster, more reliable shipping experiences that align with critical seasonal deadlines. Retailers have an opportunity to cultivate customer loyalty by promoting holiday deals earlier, selling their products on more online channels, and offering a wider variety of premium shipping options.”

Auctane, the parent brand of ShipStation, and Retail Economics, an independent economics research consultancy, surveyed 8,000 global consumers and 2,000 global retailers, including U.S. respondents.

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