Looking for sweet holiday success? Know who's ready to spend and how to catch them with these helpful holiday insights.

Curious how this holiday season might play out for your small business? Our friends at Afterpay conducted an ambitious survey this fall and we think you’ll like what they found. Note that the 1,770 respondents were all in Australia, but even before we had a global eCommerce economy, one thing has always been true: people everywhere love to shop.

Afterpay Blog image survey

The 2021 holiday season is a unique one for sure. Just over half of respondents (55%) are excited to spend time with family and friends. And it could be the first time they’ve done it in two years. About the same number (58%) are worried about another round of COVID lockdowns

Nonetheless, people are optimistic and want to spend more money. Who wants to spend the most? The answer may surprise you.


woman with shopping bags

2021 Holiday VIPs: Gen Z and Millennials

You may think of Gen Z and Millennials as thrifty, but a full third plan to spend more this holiday season over last year, compared to 11% of their Baby Boomer counterparts. They also shop in more categories, an average of 4.9 to Baby Boomers’ 2.7.

Everyone loves a deal, right?

Gen Z loves a good sale and 54% of them plan to shop during Cyber Weekend. With only 4% of Baby Boomers saying the same, it’s clear who those events should cater to.

However, Cyber Weekend shoppers are mostly in it for good deals on big ticket items like electronics and handbags. So, depending on your product and demographic, a Cyber Weekend event could be a dud.

Sales are still a good strategy, though. Four in five Millennial/Gen Z shoppers report that discounts draw them in, with only half of Baby Boomers saying the same. Across the board, more people shop in November than early December.

Meet them where they want to shop

In-store shopping always spikes in December, even as online shopping continues to grow. And with vaccinations on the rise and COVID restrictions lifting thanks to them, people want to browse the aisles again. If you have a physical storefront, or your goods are sold in one, work hard to attract that foot traffic this year. 

When it comes to selling online, be mindful of Sendle’s holiday shipping cutoff dates so you can plan appropriately. Many shoppers returning to stores are doing it to avoid shipping snags; you can capture their business by addressing their concerns up front.

Customers always appreciate a clear shipping and returns policy and a useful Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. But during the holidays, you should do even more. 44% of Gen Z and Millennial shoppers and 33% of their Baby Boomer counterparts worry about what to give this year.

Make shopping easy with gift guides

With a little help from the survey results, you can create a 2021 gift guide organized by price. The most popular items people want to receive:

  • Sentimental handmade items (72%)
  • Sustainable products (67%)
  • Fashion and clothing items (66%)
  • Items which can be personalized (56%)

Nobody wants socks. Seriously.

Sentimentality wins in 2021, with only 34% of shoppers saying they want to give useful gifts. We live in extraordinary times, so focus on the fun and save the tools, towels, and ties for next year.

The better type of Christmas card

Offer gift cards to close the deal with anyone who still can’t decide. After all, 84% of people want them and 47% plan to give them.

Woman holding phone over gift box | Every customer is worth pursuing

Every customer is worth pursuing

Even if younger shoppers are the surprise stars this year, don’t neglect everyone else in your marketing efforts. After all, a fifth of Baby Boomers have no idea what to buy. Give them great ideas and you can earn some serious sales. 

True to form, Generation X represents a quarter of the respondents but none of the intelligence shared. Can you figure out how to reach this mysterious segment of the market?

Know who's at the top of everyone’s list

Finally, don’t forget the one person everyone secretly shops for. Themself! “Self” took first place for Gen Z when asked who they were shopping for, and it’s the third most common answer for Millennials. So be sure your marketing includes permission for your customers to pick up a little something for themselves.

Ship sustainably with Sendle

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