Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

2023 Holiday Season set to beat benchmarks with smart spending strategies

According to a new survey from Criteo, 74% of UK consumers anticipate spending the same or more than they did last year online in the run-up to the holiday season, while 66% of shoppers expect to match or exceed in-store spend.

Against the tide of rising prices, smart purchasing strategies are enabling shoppers to maintain or increase their spend in more discretionary categories, like health & beauty (71%), consumer electronics (60%), apparel (59%) and home furnishings (57%). 

Three ways consumers are saving money 

Consumers are feeling the pinch around essentials in particular. 69% say they have spent more on energy bills and 61% say they have spent more on groceries in recent months.  

To help ease the cost of living:

  • 68% are buying products such as detergent and tissues in larger packs to get greater value for money.  
  • A further 43% are willing to buy more items together to get free shipping or to save on shipping costs 
  • 68% of shoppers express loyalty points will be another important influence over where they shop 

Despite this, 79% are prepared to purchase from online stores that they don’t usually purchase from during the rest of the year. Moreover, 61% report frequently trying new brands and retailers. 

Nicole Kivel, Managing Director, Northern Europe at Criteo comments, “Today’s shopper can be both loyal and agnostic. On the one hand, retailers and brands should be doubling down on their loyalty programmes, both to drive purchases and also for the monetisation potential of that data. But it’s not enough to focus on pushing through sales, you have to make sure the brand is being seen and is drawing in new audiences. Consumers are making tricky compromises and spending time weighing up products and brands from all aspects. While there are risks, there’s also so much opportunity in this environment.” 

Three things consumers will spend more on 

Exactly two-thirds of consumers are being more selective in what they buy or are shopping at more quality-orientated stores. To this end, 76% suggest that reviews are an important part of their purchase decision. In fact, shopper diligence is leading to more questions being asked of larger marketplaces; 56% of respondents now suspect some of the products they see on Amazon are counterfeit. 

While received wisdom dictates brand building and starts with having a great product – nine-in-10 consumers still describe product quality as important – there are several other elements that inform the price consumers are prepared to pay, and in some cases surpass.  

Ethically produced apparel, footwear or accessories Carbon-neutral delivery Locally produced food 
+5% extra 37% +5% extra 39% +5% extra 39% 
+10% extra 16% +10% extra 13% +10% extra 22% 
+20% or more 3% +20% or more 2% +20% or more 5% 

For instance, 56% of consumers would pay at least 5% extra for apparel, footwear or accessories that are proven to be ethically produced.  

Similarly, 54% would pay extra for carbon-neutral delivery. Another important consideration is whether the product is recyclable, which 73% of consumers stress is important in their purchase decision. Taking these factors into account when optimising brand campaigns could unlock significant amounts of revenue as consumers find more meaningful points of differentiation.