IBM’s latest global survey found that consumers plan to start their holiday shopping early this year due to concerns around shortages.
The study found that though there is a significant demand for local products and merchants, online shopping will hold the leadership position this holiday season, citing the increasing concern about new COVID-19 outbreaks and variants. Three in five respondents also said they are concerned about interacting with unvaccinated people outside their families. In contrast, more than half of those surveyed said they are worried about spending time with unvaccinated family and friends.
With concerns about shortages, one in four adults started shopping in September or earlier and twice as many people surveyed plan to begin in October compared to last year. Additionally, travel is predicted to account for a more significant portion of the holiday budgets overall for those surveyed. Travel budgets are on the rebound, up 43% over 2020.
Despite concerns around COVID-19 and shortages, consumers still care about sustainability. Around 87% of customers surveyed said they might shop for the holidays this year, up to six points instead of 2020. Four in five consumers say they may consider sustainability to some extent when shopping for the holidays this year. This group of people plan to change their behaviour by avoiding single-use plastics, shopping locally and buying more products locally or products made locally.
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