One of the latest and perhaps most interesting trends to surface this holiday is last-minute shopping.
While last-minute holiday shopping is nothing new, how consumers are making their last-minute purchases is vastly different this year.
According to a recent report by buy now, pay later (BNPL) service provider Klarna, which surveyed over 40,000 U.S. consumers, 79 percent of shoppers have left their holiday shopping to the last minute and intend to finish it within two weeks of Christmas.
Where and how consumers are making last minute purchases
According to the findings, 64 percent of last-minute shoppers plan to finish up their Christmas shopping in-store. Meanwhile, 55 percent are more likely to complete their final shopping online, even if items were not guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas Day.
While last-minute shopping has always been a trend, this year is different with the ongoing pandemic continuing to significantly impact holiday shoppers’ habits. This year, 27 percent of last-minute shoppers only plan to head to brick-and-mortar locations if buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup options are available. Among these eleventh-hour shoppers, 35 percent plan on saving the last of their holiday shopping for the week of Christmas.
In terms of what consumers are shopping for, Klarna found that 78 percent of shoppers are leaning toward the apparel category, while 45 percent are shopping for electronics, 44 percent are looking for gift cards and 33 percent are leaning toward buying home goods items.
Who are the last minute shoppers
This year, younger generations are shopping small, independent brands. The research reveals that only 26 percent of silent generation shoppers (those born between 1928 and 1945) and 34 percent of baby boomers are shopping small. This compares to 45 percent of Gen Z consumers and 43 percent of millennials who are making last-minute purchases at small and independent stores.
When shoppers were asked what they thought was the best gift they have ever received, the majority revealed that jewelry was the best item received. In fact, over 2000 respondents indicated that, to-date, rings were their favorite gift received. Gift cards, money, handbags, cars as well as watches are some of the other favorite gifts consumers received.
The survey also revealed the strangest, but useful gift consumers received was socks, with 3000 respondents saying so.
And for those last-minute shoppers dealings with the consequences of not having their items arrive on time, 45 percent revealed that they plan to print out a photo of the gift, while 28 percent plan to write an IOU note as a placeholder.
That said, the gift card category has seen a major uptick this year, with 44 percent of last-minute shoppers revealing that they would leave the gift choice up to the recipient by gifting either money or a gift card.
And as delivery windows come to a close this week, turning to in-store Christmas shopping is growing in popularity with 67 percent of Gen Z consumers, 64 percent of millennials, 63 percent of Gen X, 58 percent of baby boomers and 57 percent of silent generation consumers all revealing that they plan to shop in-store during this time.
“This is consistent across all age groups, including the digitally-inclined younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials, and illustrates how valuable the in-store shopping experience is, even in today’s current climate,” said David Sykes, Head of U.S. at Klarna.