Surprising holiday insights – Fascinating facts to help you think like a holiday shopper (and boost sales)

BONUS! Find this helpful? To download this post as a PDF, click here!

It’s that time of year again. We’re well into the holiday season and it never ceases to amaze me how fast it comes.

Reminder: we just started Quarter 4 Ornament Bootcamp
Sign up here for that.

As you get your shops into holiday mode (which you’ve probably started), I thought I’d share an update to a post I wrote in the past that goes over the most important insights and facts about the typical holiday shopper in the 2021 holiday shopping season.

Knowing this information can help you be more intentional and strategic about optimizing your shops for the holidays so you can earn more traffic and sales this holiday season.

To learn what you need to know about 2021 holiday shoppers, keep reading below…

Holiday spending has increased overall, and this is especially the case for experiences and personalized suggestions. 

According to the 2021 Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey, the average expected holiday spend for 2021 is $1,463, which is up from $1,387 in 2020. Spending is expected to increase by 3% for gifts and 15% for experiences.

More specifically, spending is up from $275 to $304 on clothing and accessories and from $180 to $193 in the home and kitchen category. This is good news for many of your LHS products, including t-shirts, jewelry, pillow cases, mugs, shot glasses, and other drinkables.

Shoppers are spending more on clothing and accessories and home and kitchen

And while you don’t sell experiences with the Low Hanging System, you can use your product descriptions and any promotions you run to link your products to experiences.

For example, you can talk about how you can sip coffee or hot cocoa from a coffee mug while sitting by the fire spending time with loved ones. Or you could talk about using shot glasses at holiday get-togethers, birthday parties, or other special events, having fun and creating memories.

Another thing the typical holiday shopper wants this year is personalized suggestions. According to Sitecore’s 2021 Holiday Trends Report


Learn more about 2021 holiday shoppers to help increase your ecommerce sales this holiday season

Personalization is something you can easily offer with a bunch of your products. You can let shoppers add their name, date, or a special message or image to your products. By offering personalization, you help shoppers buy something truly unique that their friends and family will love.

In-store shopping made a slight comeback this year, but online shopping still dominates. 

Even though many stores have reopened their doors now that we’re in the second year of the pandemic, shoppers still prefer the convenience of online shopping, which is, of course, fantastic for anyone with an ecommerce business.

As you can see from the chart below, in 2021, shoppers are expected to spend more than twice the amount on online purchases than in-store purchases.


Learn more about 2021 holiday shoppers to help increase your ecommerce sales this holiday season

There are three primary holiday shopper types you’ll see this season. 

Hopeful holiday shopper

This type makes up 36% of holiday shoppers. The hopeful type spends $1,437 during the holidays. They start shopping later (post-Thanksgiving). They shop for a shorter time period (less than five weeks) and at fewer retail formats (1-4). And they prefer doing business with stores that have sustainable business practices.

What this means for you:

You can reach this type of holiday shopper by offering a range of promotions close to Christmas, touting your store as a one-stop shop where hopeful shoppers can find all of their last-minute gifts. This will appeal to hopeful shoppers who want to find great deals and shop efficiently.

Prepared holiday shopper

This type makes up 26% of holiday shoppers. The prepared type spends $1,773 during the holidays. They start shopping earlier (in or before October). Like hopeful shoppers, they shop at fewer retail formats, but they don’t care very much about sustainability.

What this means for you:

You can reach prepared shoppers by running deals as early as possible into the holiday season. Prepared shoppers have already begun their shopping so start running special offers now, promoting convenience.

Conscious holiday shopper

This type makes up 17% of holiday shoppers. The conscious type spends $2,228 during the holidays. They are financially secure and shop for longer periods of time. They also shop at more retail formats (more than nine), value sustainability, and look to social media to inform their shopping choices.

What this means for you:

You can reach conscious shoppers via social media. Cultivate a social media presence, letting shoppers know more information about your products and where they can purchase them.

Holiday shopping is expected to start earlier than usual with more pre-Thanksgiving shoppers. 

According to Deloitte, 68% of shoppers plan to start shopping before Thanksgiving (up from 61% in 2020).

Learn more about 2021 holiday shoppers to help increase your ecommerce sales this holiday season

Starting earlier also means the 2021 shopping season is going to last longer, extending 6.4 weeks as opposed to 5.9 weeks in 2020.

One of the main reasons more people are shopping earlier this year is because they worry the items they want will sell out or that the items they purchase won’t arrive in time. Three-quarters of shoppers worry about stockouts and almost 50% fear shipping delays.

To help ease shipping concerns, you should be upfront about your shipping times right in your listings’ descriptions. Be clear about how long it takes your items to ship and approximately how long it takes for them to be delivered. This type of transparency goes a long way with customers.

Additionally, the majority of shoppers (85%) value free shipping. So, especially if you expect longer than average shipping times, if you can make it work so that you still earn a profit while offering shoppers free shipping, it’s an excellent idea to do so.

Holiday shoppers use social media for shopping in three main ways.


Fifty-six percent of shoppers use social media to learn more about products.


Fifty-two percent of shoppers use social media to look at influencer-generated content as a source of inspiration for trends and gift ideas.


Twenty-eight percent of shoppers use social media to actually make purchases.

Given the high percentages of people who use social media for research and inspiration, it’s a good idea to create and grow a social media presence for your business this holiday season. In your social media content, you can include information about your products’ sizes, color availability, and customization options. You can also talk about how your products make great gifts.

While social media marketing is certainly not a requirement of being successful with the Low Hanging System, it can definitely help boost your traffic and sales so you can generate even more interest and revenue for your business.

The 2021 holiday shipping deadlines within the US start on December 9th. 

You can learn when the rest of the 2021 holiday shipping deadlines are below:

Retail Ground – December 15
First Class Mail – December 17
Priority Mail – December 18
Priority Mail Express – December 23

SmartPost – December 9 (with exceptions)
Ground – December 15
Home Delivery – December 15
Express Saver – December 21
2Day Services – December 22
Overnight Services – December 23

Ground – Check
3 Day Select – December 21
2nd Day Air Services – December 22
Next Day Air Services – December 23

2021 US holiday shipping deadlines

I hope you found this post about the typical 2021 holiday shopper useful! If you’ve come across any other holiday shopping insights you’d like to share, please leave a comment below. I’d love to learn more! And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends and followers. 

Reminder: we just started Quarter 4 Ornament Bootcamp
Sign up here for that.


Stay In Touch!
Follow Me
BONUS! Find this helpful? To download this post as a PDF, click here!

Leave a Comment