AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 28, 2021 — Bazaarvoice, Inc., the leading provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions, today announced the results of its newest global study, exploring the holiday shopping habits of consumers in North America, Europe, and Australia during the busiest retail season of the year.

The research is based on survey responses on over 6,000 consumers from the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia, and Canada. The results take a closer look at how COVID-19 is affecting how consumers spend their money this holiday season, where they spend it, and what they spend it on. Key U.S. findings from Bazaarvoice’s new study include:

Almost two years on, the holiday season is slowly becoming immune to COVID-19

When it comes to buying gifts, despite the pandemic, the holidays seem to be relatively back to normal. The vast majority (80%) of consumers are planning on buying holiday gifts this year. Over half (55%) are spending the same amount as last year, while 15% are even spending more.

Brands and retailers need to start decking their halls ASAP; over a third (38%) of respondents said they’re starting their holiday shopping earlier this year, while 52% said they’re starting at the same time as usual. In fact, over a quarter (27%) have already started their holiday shopping, as they said they plan to start in October. Another almost half (46%) said they’ll start in November, while only 11% said they’re going to put it off until December.

While gatherings will be in-person, holiday shopping will happen online

The holiday season will be affected by the pandemic-induced surge in e-commerce, however. Over half (51%) of respondents said they’re shopping online now more than they were pre-COVID. This is reflected in where respondents said they will be shopping for holiday gifts this year. While 64% said they shopped at a physical store for holiday gifts in the past, only 56% said they would be doing it this year, an 8% drop. The change was inverse for online shopping; while 53% said they holiday shopped on a brand or retailer website with home delivery in the past, 62% said they would do the same this year, a 9% increase. With more digital holiday shoppers than ever before, brands and retailers need to ensure they optimize online discoverability and be sure to provide persuasive UGC that helps replicate the in-store experience of touching, feeling, and trying out a product.

The most important thing consumers plan to consider when buying gifts this year is cost (63%). This is followed by availability, or whether the product is in stock (46%), as Americans grow nervous about how the global supply chain will affect store shelves. When deciding between two gifts, price (69%) is again the biggest factor, but it is followed by customer reviews (38%), shipping options (33%), and the products’ ratings (29%).

More consumers aim to give gifts that will get friends and family out of the house

As COVID restrictions have or are beginning to lift, and in-person events are occurring, consumers are changing what types of gifts they are buying this year. They’re more willing to give their friends and families the gift of in-person experiences. While they are planning to purchase less physical products (i.e. clothes, perfume, toys) this year than they did last year (a 3% decrease), they’re going to buy more experiential gifts such as concert tickets and trips, and services such as massages and facials (a 4% increase for both) in 2021 than they did in 2020.

“While holiday shopping is beginning to return to ‘normal’, you can bet it will be more e-commerce focused than pre-pandemic,” said Keith Nealon, Bazaarvoice CEO. “And frankly, I don’t think we’re going to ever return to a brick-and-mortar dominated holiday season ever again. COVID has driven shoppers online, and they like it there. Brands and retailers need to ensure their digital offerings are simple, efficient, and filled with inspiring UGC to help give their customers the confidence to press ‘purchase’ from their sofa.”

To see more data, check out our infographic. 

Research Methodology

The research was commissioned by Bazaarvoice and conducted in October 2021 by Savanta among 6,011 consumers from the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany and Australia.

About Bazaarvoice

Thousands of the world’s leading brands and retailers trust Bazaarvoice technology, services, and expertise to drive revenue, extend reach, gain actionable insights, and create loyal advocates. Bazaarvoice’s extensive global retail, social, and search syndication network, product-passionate community, and enterprise-level technology provide the tools brands and retailers need to create smarter shopper experiences across the entire customer journey.

Founded in 2005, Bazaarvoice is headquartered in Austin, Texas, with offices in North America, Europe, and Australia. For more information, visit

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