20+ Holiday Spending Statistics for 2024
The holiday season is a joyful period, an opportunity to reunite with friends and family, to enjoy the company of loved ones as you count your blessings.
You’ll count extra blessings if you make your living in retail sales. For retail, similarly to Valentine's Day, the holidays are the prime business season. Forget the spirit of Christmas - the spirit of spending is where the money is.
That’s why it’s important for retailers to understand the psychology behind the decisions people make during this period.
This page is a comprehensive compendium, a guide to the most important holiday spending statistics, all in one place. We focused mainly on winter holidays, but you will see that we’ve briefly touched on other American holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween as well.
Key Holiday Spending Statistics for 2024 - Editor's Choice
- 54% of consumers start shopping for holidays in October.
- American households will spend an average of $1,652 on holiday spending in 2023.
- US consumers are projected to spend $221.8 billion in online stores this holiday season.
- 17% of consumers utilize ChatGPT for discovering and researching products in 2023.
- 70% of consumers report they will engage in some sort of charitable activity.
US holiday retail sales for 2023 are projected to total around $1.5 trillion.
The projections by Deloitte for the 2023-2024 holiday season show that retail sales are expected to rise between 3.5% and 4.6% compared to last year, when the sales totaled $1.49 trillion.
American households will spend an average of $1,652 on holiday spending during the 2023 Christmas season.
The latest data has shown that Americans will spend 14% more on this year's holiday season, with travel expenses increasing the most, by 12%. Almost 40% of consumers said that they would spend more overall in 2023 than they did last year.
US consumers spend an average of $514 on holiday gifts for family, friends, and coworkers.
In 2022, Americans on average bought gifts for 4 friends, down from 6 the year before. In 2023, more than 30% of consumers stated that they plan to spend less money per person on holiday gifts.
Some 54% of Americans start shopping for holidays in October.
Each year the holiday seasons are a source of stress for many. According to recent data, “festive stress” makes 31% of Americans describe the holiday seasons as “frantic.”
A lot of the stress comes from starting Christmas shopping too late - 9% start looking for presents for their loved in December, but in general, the trend is shifting much more to the other side of the spectrum, with 11% more consumers starting their shopping in October compared to the year before.
Consumers who begin their holiday spending before the end of October end up spending $1,761 on average - about 28% more than late shoppers.
Data suggests that you can save money by postponing your holiday shopping. Those who begin shopping in the second half of December spend an average of just $1,284.
Late shoppers encounter larger crowds, a smaller selection of goods on retailers’ shelves, and higher stress levels, however.
Americans are projected to spend $221.8 billion in online stores during the holiday season of 2023.
The year-over-year spending on online holiday shopping is expected to increase by 4.8% compared to 2022, with the biggest single shopping day being Cyber Monday, with projected sales worth $12 billion.
19.6% US consumers will shop for holiday gifts online in 2023.
More and more shoppers are discovering the benefits of online shopping, even though the numbers are still largely in favor of brick-and-mortar stores, especially now that the market trends have started recovering from the pandemic conditions of few years ago. Still, this year, retail e-commerce sales will go up by an expected 11.9%, while shopping for gifts in physical stores will rise by just 2.9%.
17% of consumers utilize ChatGPT for discovering and researching products in 2023.
The artificial intelligence boom is quickly being recognized in the retail market, with more and more people using AI assistance to research products. The same survey from PMG also found that 10% of all consumers will use the help of AI to build their holiday shopping lists.
66% of consumers plan to shop for holidays during the Black Friday-Cyber Monday weekend in 2023.
This number is much higher compared to 49% in 2022, and is indicative of the inflation rates this year, as 72% of all consumers surveyed by Deloitte said that they expect higher prices and one of the main ways of navigating inflation is shopping during the days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, where the cheapest deals will be found.
In 2022, December 17 was the biggest sales day in both retail and online spaces.
Super Saturday is the last Saturday before Christmas. Retailers have begun offering huge last-minute discounts on Super Saturday sales, making it the biggest Christmas sale for those who wait until the very last minute, which is why in 2022 this day once again dominated the entire holiday spending period.
The top-selling Christmas gifts are clothing and accessories, with 59% of people planning to give them to their loved ones.
(National Retail Federation)
Gift cards are a close second, purchased by 56% of consumers. While it can be considered a lazy gift, a gift card can be a safe bet for people you don’t know all that well. Toys for the little ones account for 41% of presents.
Younger people most often give books and other media.
51.2% consumers are expected to do shopping on their mobile devices in the 2023 holiday season.
More and more internet traffic is moving to mobile devices, and for the first time ever, Adobe is projecting that mobile ecommerce sales will overtake desktop sales in 2023. The overal mobile spending is expected to be more than $113 billion, which is a 13% increase compared to 2022.
Holiday shoppers are very receptive to promotional offers - 82% of them are influenced by holiday discounts and other promotions.
The promotional offers that prove most effective in stimulating holiday spending are straight price discounts, with the "Up to 50% Off" discount being the most popular among consumers in 2023.
Christmas is a time of giving to others: 71% of consumers report that they plan to engage in some sort of charitable activity.
The latest data from Enthuse shows that 48% people are more likely to give at Christmas compared to any other day of the year. Younger generations are also more inclined to give, especially millenials under 40. Some 61% of those surveyed also stated that they plan on donating items instead of money.
Around 75% of consumers plan to buy a gift for themselves.
While it is important to give something back to those who are less fortunate, there’s nothing wrong with treating ourselves to a gift or two after a year of hard work.
In a 2012 survey, 37% of respondents said they would be buying themselves a present. By 2023, that number has more than doubled, but this year, 53% of surveyed consumers also stated that they plan to reduce self-gifting in order to preserve their holiday budget.
People from low-income households prefer shopping in physical stores during the holiday season compared to people with middle and high annual incomes.
When asked whether they prefer online or physical stores, 42% of people from low-income homes said they prefer brick-and-mortar stores, while a little over 30% of high and medium-income consumers said the same. It’s easy to predict that people with lower incomes are more likely to put higher emphasis on quality and price when doing their holiday shopping.
39% of consumers discovered a brand or product on TikTok in 2023.
Social media is increasingly influencing holiday sales, with 50% of users across all platforms using them to discover products for holiday shopping. Along with TikTok, 56% of Meta users (Facebook and Instagram), discovered brands and products during the holiday season, with 35% claiming these offers were more relevant than on other platforms.
National Halloween spending will reached $12.2 billion in 2023.
(National Retail Federation)
The latest data from the National Retail Federation indicates that this year's spending on Halloween will be $1.6 billion higher compared to 2022, with the average American spending $108 on this holiday, compared to $100 the year before. Most of the consumers will spend money on candy, decorations and costumes, as per usual.
Americans eat more than 150 million hotdogs on Independence Day.
Independence day is one of the most important and beloved holidays for Americans. Barbecues, fireworks, hot dogs, beer - all seasoned with pride for the red, white, and blue in the sweetest part of summer.
According to a study conducted before the big day, Americans were forecast to spend $8.4 billion on food and drink on the 4th of July, statistics show, with $1.6 billion spent on beer and wine alone.
Americans spendt more than $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2023.
(National Retail Federation)
Young people are boycotting Valentine's Day in increasing numbers, a reaction to what they see as the commercialization of what would otherwise be a fine holiday. This factor, added to the number of single people with no one to celebrate with, accounts for the fact that only about half of Americans observe Valentine’s Day. Among those who don’t celebrate, 23% go so far as purchasing “anti-Valentine's Day” gifts.
Still, the holiday facilitated the circulation of $25.9 billion in cards, flowers, candy, and jewelry in 2023 according to the National Retail Federation.
Americans who celebrate Easter spent $192.1 on average for this holiday in 2023.
(National Retail Federation)
The collective spending on Easter in the United States has reached record levels this year, growing to $24 billion and easily beating the previous 2020 record of $21.7 billion. One third of the household budgets was going to food, while $14.24 on average was reserved for flowers.
What are the top 3 most popular holidays?
In the United States, the most popular holidays among the populace each year are Thanksgiving, Memorial day and Christmas.
How much the average consumer will spend this holiday season?
The average US consumer in 2023 will spend $1,652 on holiday shopping.
I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I began my career as a data operator with a large fintech firm. This position proved invaluable for learning how banks and other financial institutions operate. Daily correspondence with banking experts gave me insight into the systems and policies that power the economy. When I got the chance to translate my experience into words, I gladly joined the smart, enthusiastic Fortunly team.