Are consumers jollier as they head into this holiday shopping season than in 2021? According to reports, holiday shopping so far is down year-over-year, however, sales were still high and the most we’ve seen this year.
It’s understandable that consumers may still be cautious. Recent Experian data shows that the pandemic continues to affect consumers’ wallets and they are more focused as we close out the year on their budget and financial planning than in years past. More than a third of consumers surveyed said COVID-19 caused credit or financial barriers that have prevented them from doing holiday shopping the way they planned this holiday season. Almost a third (30%) said they are stressed about shopping, up from 25% last year.
Among the top worries for consumers is having enough money to buy gifts, an increase of 6% over last year, and sticking to a budget. Consumers certainly don’t want to overextend themselves in case there are macro societal or economic issues next year that could leave them struggling financially.
Adding to their worries is concern about increasing identity theft and data breaches, with about a third of consumers feeling anxiety about it. Regardless, online shopping continues to be a popular choice, illustrated by Cyber Monday logging $10.7 billion in sales in 2021. However, all this online shopping puts consumers at an elevated risk.
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