Study: Majority of Americans Still Favor Ecommerce Options, But Optimism on In-Store Holiday Shopping Grows | Adtaxi

Study: Majority of Americans Still Favor Ecommerce Options, But Optimism on In-Store Holiday Shopping Grows

Press Release

Jennifer Flanagan

Oct 07 2021

— Adtaxi survey finds that 62% will make an effort to shop from local small businesses —


DENVER, CO (October 7, 2021)Adtaxi—one of the nation’s fastest-growing digital marketing agencies—today announced the results of its 2021 Holiday Outlook survey. Examining consumer response to the ongoing pandemic and economic uncertainty entering the holiday season, the study found that in-store foot-traffic is expected to contribute to holiday sales growth, but ecommerce will continue to grow its share of spending. 

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents feel comfortable to shop in-store this holiday season, up from 50% in last year’s survey.  And though one-third say they do not feel safe, only 12% feel strongly about it.  It’s this minority segment of consumers who plan to spend less this year, compared to the group who feels “safe” and plan to spend as much or more. 

 “After the incredible and ongoing challenges of the past two years, it’s heartening to see Americans so eager to celebrate the holiday season. Still, a significant number are cautious and concerned about the pandemic risk, and it’s on all businesses to help keep customers safe,” said Chris Loretto, EVP of Adtaxi. “We’re also tracking a strong trend of Americans choosing to support local, small and mission-driven businesses with their holiday dollars. This is a ray of hope for local communities and the American economy alike – and we encourage small businesses to be bold in reaching consumers this season.”

Additional key findings include: 

  • Strong Gains in Travel: The study also found that 3-in-10 Americans (28%) will avoid travel for the holidays for a variety of reasons.  According to the survey, more respondents will avoid in-person events (45%), dining indoors (34%), and shopping major retailers (31%).  When asked why they will avoid travel, the majority specifically cited the pandemic and safety precautions.  Those avoiding travel due to the pandemic / safety precautions account for only 16% of total adults.   

  • Online to Grow Share of Consumer Spend… Again: One-third of respondents will spend 50-74% of their holiday dollars online. One-fourth (27%) will spend 75% or more online.  The group who will spend 75% or more of their holiday dollars online is 1 ½ times larger than those who will spend less than 25% via ecommerce.

  • Support for Shopping Small Remains Strong: At home or on the road, 70% of consumers intend to shop small businesses this holiday season.  This is only down 4 percentage points from the height of the pandemic.  In addition, 27% will seek out socially conscious businesses and 26% will prioritize minority-owned businesses.                                                                     

  • Black Friday Boom: Despite the large number of special sales dates and the fragmentation of shopping, Black Friday remains the most popular. The study found more than 1-in-4 (28%) will do most of their shopping on Black Friday. Among those respondents, 71% will do their Black Friday shopping online. This emphasizes the growth and importance of ecommerce and follows the trend of in-store shopping hesitance.

  • Beyond Black Friday: American consumers are keeping their options open. 41% won’t rely on traditional sales holidays like Black Friday or Cyber Monday for the majority of their holiday shopping.

  • Shopping Season Span:  More than 1 in 3 Americans (35%) will begin holiday shopping before November – and 37% won’t stop until late December. Another 13% will continue their holiday shopping past December.

 “More than ever before, the holiday shopping season is a multi-month affair, and businesses who restrict their efforts to Black Friday or Cyber Monday will miss out,” continued Loretto. “With online shopping as the new normal and Amazon absolutely dominating, smart brands will beef up their ecommerce capabilities and explore leveraging Amazon as well. Overall, there is clearly an appetite for the right holiday messages from consumers.”


This survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey, among a sample of 1,037 adult respondents. The surveyed population is balanced across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age. The survey was conducted on September 14th, 2021.

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