As backlogs in the U.S. supply chain continue to threaten shipping and deliveries this holiday season, consumers' purchasing habits and plans appear to be relatively unwavered. According to ChargeItSpot founder and CEO Doug Baldasare, the majority of shoppers the company surveyed are not changing their gift buying approach this year.
“We've seen a gradual and steady return to brick-and-mortar shopping. As we've looked at the last 12 months, it's really been a pretty steady upward trend,” Baldasare told Yahoo Finance Live. “[According to ChargeItSpot’s consumer survey,] 62% of people said they're not shopping any earlier than they had in the past [amid supply chain constraints], which is pretty interesting.”
Baldasare elaborated on his company’s findings on consumer worry surrounding being able to get the gifts they want this holiday season.
“And then you look at the other side, and only 10% of people are extremely concerned that they're not going to be able to get the gifts that they need,” he said. “So it's been a steady increase back to brick and mortar, and people aren't as concerned about the supply chain shortages, at least right now.”
ChargeItSpot is one of the leading providers of phone charging station kiosks to retailers and brands, allowing them key insights into consumer foot traffic metrics. Their kiosks also collect opt-in consumer data including marketing information such as email addresses, cell phone numbers, and survey responses. Baldasare joined Yahoo Finance Live to report the findings of ChargeItSpot’s holiday shopping survey — indicating consumers' preferences on whether to shop online or in store — and why clothes are the most sought-after product this year.
According to Baldasare, for those who did express concern about being able to get their hands on the gifts they want, survey respondents typically said they would be doing most of their shopping in-store to get around this holiday season’s uncertainty. On the other hand, those who weren't as worried about supply chain shortages said they would be buying online.
And although supply shortages and soaring inflation continue to be at the top of consumers’ minds, Baldasare said that ChargeItSpot found that consumers are generally experiencing “holiday cheer.”
“We've run a longitudinal study over the years on ‘holiday cheer’ to see how that ticks up or ticks down where people rate it on a five-point scale. This year compared to 2019, it's up 21%,” he said. “And actually, as you get closer to the holidays, cheer tends to continue to rise.”
He also noted that the highest amount of cheer was reported by those who had finished their shopping, with the lowest amount of cheer coming from those who had not begun.
“So that could be one of two things — people who are inherently cheerful have already done their shopping, and so there's a correlation between cheer and the fact that you bought,” Baldasare said. “Or [what] you can look at is the retail therapy factor — getting out there, buying stuff does cause an increase in cheer. We'll see that shake out as we get closer to the holidays.”
Thomas Hum is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @thomashumTV