2019 Holiday Shopping trends

The 2019 holiday gifting may be over but returns and exchanges are still in full swing. To analyze the last holiday shopping season and its aftermath we released the findings of the HarrisX 2019 Holiday Shopping Study​, which tracks consumer shopping attitudes around the end of year.


Our 2019 Holiday Shopping Study is the second of its kind, following the inaugural edition released after the 2018 holiday cycle. This year's survey of more than 10,000 U.S. adults examines consumer sentiment and attitudes on holiday shopping, with an emphasis on tech purchases. It includes trended data showing how holiday shopping spend, and more specifically holiday tech shopping, has evolved over this past year.


Among the top findings of the study, the most interesting datapoint is Apple taking the top spot as the most considered brand channel among holiday shoppers, surpassing Amazon which traditionally places first. The study also tracked consumer purchasing on a product SKU level, revealing Apple's iPhone to be the overall most purchased tech product during the 2019 Holiday Season. 


Other key findings from our 2019 Holiday Shopping Study include:


  1. Expected holiday spending 
  • A quarter of consumers of all demographics anticipated they would spend more this holiday season, in general and on tech, compared to 2018.
  • Americans expected to spend an average of $1831 for the holiday season, with $1299 expected to go towards technology purchases.
  • Expected spending has gone up since 2018, be it in general (from $1639 in 2018 to $1831 in 2019) and on tech products ($1090 in 2018 to $1299 in 2019), which can be interpreted as a sign of economic optimism amongst US consumers.
  1. Actual holiday spending
  • Average tech spending was up compared to 2018 and reached a peak of $1,261 on the Friday before Christmas.
  • Over half of shoppers completed most of their holiday shopping after Cyber Monday.
  • By December 23d, 2019, 88% of respondents declared being at least halfway done with the holiday shopping, while 4% said not having started at all.
  • The vast majority of consumers (80%) did not report shopping during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, citing consumer habits as the main reason for this behavior.
  1. Holiday shopping attitudes
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents make technology purchases in physical retail stores.
  • One third (33%) of consumers considered purchasing headphones and/or earbuds during the holiday season, but smartphone and laptops remain at the top of tech purchase considerations during the holidays.

You can find our 2019 Holiday Shopping Report ad full Databook in our Marketplace