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Published
Nov 16, 2020
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Consumers are leaning in to early holiday shopping, NRF reports

Published
Nov 16, 2020

Over half of holiday shoppers have started making holiday purchases early this year, the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics reports. 


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According to the report, which surveyed 8,362 adult consumers, 59% of holiday shoppers said they started making purchases as of early November, marking a 21% increase from a decade ago. In addition, 40% of holiday shoppers said they started shopping earlier than they normally do.

The NRF found that clothing and accessories are the most popular gift category, according to 54% of those surveyed, followed by gift cards and gift certificates at 49%, toys at 37%, books and other media at 34% and food and candy at 28%.

Although they've started earlier, on average shoppers say they have only completed 26% of their shopping so far. 

While online shopping is predictably expected to be on the rise this season amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, many shoppers also aren't afraid to shop in-person: according to the report, 70% of holiday shoppers said that they have felt safe shopping in stores this holiday season with the health and safety precautions retailers have put in place.  

“Retailers have demonstrated their commitment and ability to ensure safe shopping environments for their customers and their associates,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “With consumers looking to fulfill their gift lists earlier this year, retailers are prepared to meet that demand with deep discounts, robust inventory and providing the best experiences possible whether in store or online.” 

Credit cards continue to be the top form of payment this season at 42%, followed closely by debit cards at 41%, while only 15% of consumers said cash would be their top form of payment this season, marking the lowest in the survey’s history and likely related to the coronavirus, the NRF said. 

49% of shoppers said they plan to use an alternative form of payment such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay or Venmo. 

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