Saying that 2020 was a rough year would be a gross understatement, especially when it comes to financial stability. Yet, with the winter holiday season approaching, we can’t help but wonder how different it will be and whether COVID-19 will be the Grinch who finally stole our Christmas. Well, fear not, as these holiday spending statistics indicate that we have nothing to worry about — winter holidays will be as merry as ever!
This article will look into the different aspects of winter holidays — the typical amount people spend on gifts, who spares no expenses on New Year’s Eve, and exactly how many people have switched to online shopping sprees.
To find this out and more, just keep on reading!
Top 10 Holiday Shopping Facts
- Approximately 20% of Europeans start gift-shopping in the second half of November.
- 73% of Millennials in the Netherlands buy holiday gifts during Black Friday.
- Current estimates project that the average American will spend around $1,387 on holiday-related shopping in 2020.
- Americans spend approximately 15 hours on gift-shopping.
- 51% of shoppers exhibit shopping-related anxiety due to COVID-19.
- 52.3% of gift-givers pay with money from their savings account.
- 60% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online in 2020.
- Millennials are willing to spend roughly $228.10 on New Year’s Eve celebrations.
- 65% of people will spend this year’s Thanksgiving with their immediate family.
- 82% of Thanksgiving spending goes on food.
Worldwide Holiday Spending Statistics Explained
1. Approximately 20% of Europeans start gift-shopping in the second half of November.
Coincidence or not, these dates coincide with both Black Friday and Cyber Week.
What’s more, 21% of UK shoppers prefer to do their holiday shopping between December 1–15, which is closer to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
In fact, one particular 2019 holiday season store statistic shows that the vast majority of European countries conduct their holiday shopping during these two “time slots,” including Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany.
2. A whopping 1 out of 3 people shop online (exclusively).
An increasing number of customers opt for online shops over retailers who combine both traditional brick-and-mortar stores and additional web services.
Namely, this year’s holiday statistics show that as much as 33% of customers plan to buy from “internet-only” retailers, according to the latest online shopping trends, which is a significant increase compared to just 20% of those who said the same last year.
On the other hand, merely 27% of buyers said they would buy exclusively from brick-and-mortars with web shops, which is just a 1% increase from last year.
3. Two-fifths of Europeans report feeling pressured to spend money on Christmas.
In Europe, Christmas spending statistics color the balance of many a European shopper red. On average, 10% of Europeans go into debt during the holiday season, with the most likely “candidates” being Romanians and Brits (19% and 17%, respectively). Citizens from Luxembourg and the Netherlands are the least likely to do so, with just 3% and 5%, respectively.
Yet, the world’s top holiday spenders are people from the US, where a staggering 22% of the population goes into debt each year due to holiday shopping.
4. 73% of Millennials in the Netherlands buy holiday gifts on Black Friday.
When it comes to buying holiday gifts on Black Friday, facts and statistics indicate that this trend is gaining momentum among Millennials and has increased by about 7% compared to last year.
On the other hand, the number of Gen Xers, Baby Boomers, and the elder remained largely the same or decreased by a small amount; most likely the result of younger generations taking part in global trends (more so than older generations).
5. 15% of Europeans report getting “unsatisfying gifts” over the holiday season, while 62% of Americans believe they will dislike the gift.
What’s more, another 10% of people don’t even remember the gifts they receive during the holidays. One recent holiday season store statistic even shows that 1 in 10 people return their gifts back to the store.
Moreover, 14% of people sell the gifts they don’t like, around 5% give them back to the giver, whereas younger generations simply throw unwanted gifts away (most of the time).
In the US, a whopping 62% of consumers expect to get something they don’t like. In other words, some 154 million Americans receive over $15 billion worth of presents they dislike.
6. Russians spend almost 50% of their holiday budgets on gifts.
Christmas is traditionally one of the most profitable holidays for store owners worldwide, and Russian is no exception. Namely, $305 was the average Russian Christmas budget in 2018, with $138 being spent on gifts, $131 on food and beverages (for celebration purposes), and an additional $35 on entertainment.
7. Luxembourg residents spend the most money on holiday trips of all Europeans.
Research has shown that citizens of Luxembourg spend €768 (or $906), on average, on travel during the holidays, which is almost double the amount that the average EU citizen spends — €336 (or $396).
8. The number of people celebrating Easter in the UK has dropped by 6% (73% in total).
Holiday statistics further reveal that 62% of those who do celebrate plan on spending their money on Easter-related items, whereas 11% don’t plan on spending any money at all.
On average, UK citizens spend around £27.66 (or $36.43) on Easter, which is roughly £902 million (or $1.194 billion) per year in total.
Yet, this change shouldn’t be seen as a surprise, seeing how the world is currently caught up in a global pandemic.
American Spending Statistics — Holiday Edition
9. Current estimates project that the average American will spend around $1,387 on holiday-related shopping in 2020.
The largest part of this sum is set aside for gift shopping ($347) and socializing ($260). Treating yourself with some new clothes is also on the list — namely, $175.
Holiday furnishing and gift cards are on the very bottom of the list with $141 and $140, respectively. And another $191 is estimated to go on different, unrelated expenses, according to the latest holiday spending statistics for 2020
10. Your spending habits can decrease your holiday expenses by as much as 24%.
If you are an efficient shopper who has an exact list, enters only specific stores, and doesn’t look around, you will save considerably more than the average shopper (around $326).
Likewise, if you like walking around and searching for those bargain deals, you can still save up to 9%, which is about $118 less than the average holiday shopper.
Yet, there are those among us who are true holiday aficionados and spare no expense to make people around them happy — hence why the holiday spending budget of these so-called “festive shoppers” is 19% bigger than that of the average shopper, amounting to $1,652 in general.
11. Americans spend approximately 15 hours on gift-shopping.
You may be thinking that the holidays are all about spending quality time with your family and friends — well, think again. US women spend around 20 hours, on average, searching for the perfect gift during the holiday season, whereas US men spend merely 10.
12. Holiday shopping statistics indicate that people spend approximately three and a half hours queuing.
Some even wait a whole hour to return a present they don’t like after Christmas.
Moreover, if you like to hand beautifully wrapped presents with colorful bows and shimmer, you better be ready to spend an additional three hours to do so.
13. Winter holidays are the time of year when shoppers spend the most money.
(National Retail Federation)
The most recent consumer spending statistics show that winter holidays were the absolute best on the list of top-spending holidays of 2019, with the average customer spending $1,047.83 no less. In contrast, Easter is way back, with average spending of just $151.25.
When it comes to non-religious holidays, Mother’s Day seems to be the most important one, sitting at $196.47, and Father’s Day follows suit with $138.97.
Halloween takes the last spot with just $86.27; but then again, Halloween is all about creativity and improvisation.
14. 51% of shoppers exhibit shopping-related anxiety due to COVID-19.
When it comes to interpreting holiday spending statistics, 2020 will be a real challenge due to the ongoing pandemic and its impact on consumer behavior. Despite 49% of shoppers saying that they will gladly return to real-life shopping after the COVID-19 vaccine is out, 65% of them still prefer shopping online or in stores that are not part of larger malls (48%).
15. 52.3% of gift-givers pay with money from their savings account.
Moreover, women are more likely to perform this kind of behavior than men according to stats (56% compared to 47%, respectively).
Another 42.6% of customers prefer to swipe their credit cards, and 5.5% borrow cash from someone else. Excessive spending may be one of the reasons for eventual turning to credit repair companies.
Holiday spending statistics from 2019 highlight that gift financing through personal savings was the most common choice for all age groups — Gen Xers leading the pack with 53.6%, after which come Baby Boomers (51.4%), and Millennials (51.2%).
16. 61% of people start their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving, thus spending more.
People who start their holiday shopping spree before Thanksgiving spend an estimated $1,537 over the holiday season. On the other hand, those who start shopping only after Thanksgiving will save a significant amount of money, spending an estimated $1,149.
Moreover, despite earlier predictions that the COVID-19 pandemic would significantly impact current spending trends, the most recent data indicates that the shopping fever remains largely unchanged.
17. 60% of consumers plan to do their holiday shopping online in 2020.
(National Retail Federation)
Apart from online shops, people are also looking to shop at department and discount stores (45% and 43%, respectively).
The latest 2020 holiday spending trends also highlight that 91% of online shoppers can find items with free shipping, and another 16% are even prepared to pay for same-day delivery to get their items on time.
In addition, 41% of online shoppers prefer to order items online but pick them up at the store.
18. Millennials are willing to spend roughly $228.10 on New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Let’s not forget that American Millennials contribute around $600 billion to the economy each year. Hence, it shouldn’t surprise us that they made a substantial impact on holiday spending in 2019. Namely, while the average American spends $185.60 on New Year’s Eve experiences, Millennials spend an average of $228.10 on this special night.
19. 82% of Thanksgiving spending goes on food.
Likewise, 18% of the budget goes on traveling. And the estimated cost of hosting a pre-pandemic Thanksgiving celebration was around $500.
What’s more, the average holiday spending data shows that the average American spent $186.05 on Thanksgiving in 2019; a steady increase for the last couple of years — namely, $175.65 in 2018, and $165.14 in 2017.
20. Online shoppers spent $4.2 billion in total on Thanksgiving in 2019.
Despite this being a 14.5% increase since the previous year, retail holidays still came on top scoring revenues unrivaled by any traditional holiday. In fact, it was estimated that an average customer spends $168 on Black Friday; last year’s grand total came at a mind-blowing $7.4 billion. This was topped merely by Cyber Monday that achieved an impressive $7.9 billion in revenue.
21. 65% of people will spend this year’s Thanksgiving with their immediate family.
There are even those who will celebrate it online — around 18%. Likewise, 28% of people expect it to be very different in 2020, whereas 68% believe that it will be just slightly different.
Thanksgiving holiday spending statistics indicate that around 60% of people will spend the same amount as in previous years in spite of the economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Conversely, 34% of people plan to spend less than in previous years.
22. 148 million Americans celebrated Halloween, despite the pandemic.
Decorating homes is the number one priority according to 53% of participants, whereas pumpkin carving takes second place, with 46%. Pet costumes are also gaining popularity, with 18% of people participating in this activity
23. Based on Halloween spending statistics, the total consumer spending for this spooky holiday amounted to $8.05 billion in 2020.
This is a slight decrease of 8.3% ($8.78 billion) from last year.
What is the most commercially successful holiday?
Winter holidays have traditionally been the most commercially successful as 90% of Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza during this period. It is estimated that US citizens spend up to $682 billion over the course of these two months, which is 20% of total annual sales.
What is the most commercialized holiday?
Christmas, hands down. Every year, the retail industry opens an estimated 562,000 additional seasonal jobs to keep the show going around Christmas. A recent pilot study found that about half of them will need additional jobs in 2020, in spite of present economic fears caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
What percentage of holiday shopping is done online?
The most recent data shows that 20.1% of all sales during the 2019 holiday season were done online. In 2020, the figures are expected to be much, much higher, especially around Christmas.
We hope these holiday spending statistics made it easier for you to decide on your spending strategy for this turbulent year. Our recommendation is to be innovative and to think of a completely new approach this year. For instance, try online shopping if you haven’t before. It may lack the glitz and joy of traditional holiday shopping, but it can be just as fun.
We wish you all the best (deals), loads of free shipping, and happy holidays!