Editor’s note: Jenna Varites is research director at Leger USA, a market research company.

To gauge purchase intent during the holiday shopping season, it is critical for brands and retailers to understand consumer behavior. No two customers are the same, which is especially true when it comes to different generations of shoppers.

From October 5-12, 2023, we at Leger surveyed 1,001 U.S. consumers to explore their holiday spending plans, purchasing behaviors and outlook for 2024. Our analysis uncovered insights into how U.S. Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Boomers plan to purchase gifts this year. 

Let’s dive into four key findings from our survey that can help retailers and brands understand younger generations’ preferences as we approach the holiday season.

There is an uptick in U.S. consumers expecting to spend more on gifts in the 2023 holiday season, however, younger shoppers have the greatest expectation for increased spending. Gen Zers who plan to purchase gifts anticipate spending an average of $160 more this year, and Millennials who plan to purchase gifts expect to spend $101 more. These younger purchasers are primarily focused on giving better gifts this year compared to the older generations, so efforts to help them choose the best gifts for their loved ones are likely to be appreciated. 

Younger shoppers anticipate preparing differently this holiday season. The top three ways Gen Zers who plan to purchase gifts are preparing differently are: 

Millennials who plan to purchase gifts are:

Younger shoppers are ready to spend. Brands and retailers are likely to benefit from promoting sales well in advance to attract savvy shoppers.

While many retailers are offering early holiday deal days, our survey showed that U.S. consumers who plan to purchase gifts expect to shop during deal days.  Black Friday (73%) is the most popular deal day, followed closely by Cyber Mond...