Millennials lead holiday spending 

This year, 75% of American adults will spend the same or more over the holidays while 83% of Millennials plan to spend the same or more than last year. Samba TV found that the average U.S. adult plans to spend a total of $978 this holiday season. Forty percent of Millennials say they are in a better financial situation this year compared to 2022 and will average a total spend of $1,474. 

When it comes to shopping, 54% of consumers say they will hold off on holiday purchases until after Thanksgiving while less than half of Millennials plan to wait until November to begin shopping. This year, 34% of people plan to shop in-store on Black Friday and 58% plan to shop online on Cyber Monday.

The research was conducted by HarrisX on behalf of Samba TV on August 22-30, 2023, among 2,507 adults and 2,171 holiday shoppers in the United States. Read more. 

Canadians savvy and seeking savings

Canadians are finding ways to save this holiday season with 75% actively looking for sales and offers. According to, 61% plan to use loyalty programs, 35% will plan activities instead of purchasing gifts and 33% plan to reassess who they gift items to. 

Canadians say they would enjoy receiving practical items they need (63%), gift cards (53%), experiences (28%) and 26% say they would like luxury items. Sixty-three percent plan to partake in Black Friday and 50% will shop on Cyber Monday. Seventy-six percent say they plan to set a shopping budget. 

The research was conducted by Ignite lab on behalf of with 1,000 Canadians in August 2023. Read more. 

Stressing over holiday scams

Most consumers (95%) are planning to shop online for holiday gifts. Seventy-three percent say they are very or somewhat confident that they are doing it safely, but many are concerned about security with 25% of respondents saying they have been targeted by a scam while shopping online.

Seventy-three percent of respondents worry about personal details being compromised including their address and credit card information. Others are concerned they will be a victim of cybercrime (67%) or of being scammed by a third-party retailer (64%) and 51% stress about receiving a counterfeit version of a gift. 

The research was conducted online in 13 countries by Dynata on behalf of Gen from August 17-September 4, 2023. Read more.

American consumers ready for the holidays

Most U.S. adults (92%) plan to partake in holiday celebrations including Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa this year. According to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics, 43% of shoppers will begin making purchases before November in hopes of spreading out their budget (60%) and to avoid last-minute shopping (46%) and crowds (45%). 

Fifty-five percent of respondents say they would like to receive gift cards, 49% would like clothing or accessories and 28% would enjoy receiving books, video games or other media. Twenty-three percent say they plan to give an experience this year.

The research was conducted on October 2-9, 2023, with 8,103 adult consumers. Read more.

Sustainable shopping on the back burner

While high shipping costs, higher free shipping thresholds and shipping delays are a concern, project44 found that 79% of respondents are confident they will receive their gifts in a timely manner with 33% saying they would pay extra to ensure their gifts arrive on time. 

Fifty-three percent of shoppers say they will prioritize sustainable brands, down from 55% in 2022, while 24% say sustainability is not a factor for them, up from 16% in 2022. This year, only 44% will shop locally at small businesses in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint and 21% plan to pay a premium for greener products or brands.

The research was conducted in August 2023 with more than 1,000 North American consumers. Read more.

The ideal Christmas 

Pureprofile found that 74% of Americans will have a break from work and 9% will use their annual leave to extend their holidays. Fifty-six percent of Americans, 51% of New Zealanders, 43% of Brits, 40% of Australians and 54% of Singaporeans plan to travel this Christmas. In the U.S., 49% will travel domestically and 7% will take an international trip. 

Forty-four percent of Americans, 56% of Australians, 41% of Singaporeans, 47% of Brits and 58% of New Zealanders say their ideal Christmas would include a pleasant meal at home with family. Twenty-two percent of Americans and 16% of Singaporeans would enjoy a fancy dinner outing. Sixteen percent of New Zealanders, 15% of Brits and 10% of Americans would enjoy a hot day at the beach. Eleven percent of Brits, 12% of Australians and 18% of Singaporeans would prefer to spend time alone. 

The research was conducted with 4,500 Pureprofile panel members from Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., the U.S. and Singapore. Read more.

Generating the holiday spirit with AI

According to Capterra’s Annual Holiday Retail Preparations survey, 44% of retail SMBs will use generative AI this holiday season. Forty-four percent will use it to generate marketing content, 43% aim to personalize the customer experience with it, 39% will use it for data analytics, 33% will design products with it and 15% will incorporate it to generate product descriptions. 

SMB retailers plan to increase holiday deals with only 2% reporting that they will have fewer deals than last year, while 70% aim to have more. In an attempt to decrease return rates, 41% of SMBs will offer more products as final-sale items and 26% plan to adjust the time window for returns. 

This research was conducted in August 2023 with 500 retail business leaders. Read more. 

Traveling for the holidays

Half of American adults plan to spend money on flights or hotels this holiday season, up from 44% in 2022. NerdWallet found that despite rising costs, more than one-third (35%) of respondents will keep their usual holiday travel plans, regardless of the expense. Seventy-five percent will use credit cards to pay for their travels, 52% will use cash, 47% will use money from their savings, 30% will use travel points/miles and 10% plan to take out a personal loan. 

Out of those not traveling, 40% say they prefer to spend the holidays at home, 39% say their friends and family are close enough to avoid travel and 10% say they host others for the upcoming celebrations. 

This research was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of NerdWallet with 2,057 U.S. adults from September 5-7, 2023. Read more.

Feeling the holiday fatigue

While holiday preparations are in full swing, 83% of people say they experience Christmas fatigue from all the holiday advertisements and sales events by the time Christmas Day arrives. According to CouponBirds, 82% of respondents believe stores put their seasonal decorations up too early in the year with the majority saying they should put them up in November (48%) or December (21%). 

Seventy-seven percent say advertisers post-Christmas advertisements online and on social media too early and 75% say they are tired of hearing holiday songs by the time Christmas arrives. 

The research was conducted with over 1,000 U.S. residents. Read more. 

2024 goals for Gen Z and Millennials

Seventy-two percent of Millennial and Gen Z respondents would prefer to spend money on a trip with friends or family for the holidays instead of spending on gifts. American Express found that 56% of Millennials and Gen Zs believe they did not travel enough over the summer and are planning to make up for it this winter.

The top 2024 goals revolve around personal finance (57%), wellness (50%), mental health (48%), family (44%) and work (43%). The most common financial goals include growing savings (59%), paying off debt (42%), sticking to a budget (41%) and building an emergency fund (33%). Forty-two percent of Millennials and Gen Zs cite mental health as a reason why they don’t make New Year’s resolutions. 

The research was conducted among 4,017 adults from September 15-18, 2023. Read more.