With inflation rising and as we are inching toward the holiday season, we wondered: is inflation already affecting holiday shopping? In this consumer study, we wanted to find out and asked people in the United States.
We combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study, and the platform neatly packaged the results in one dashboard.
On the quantitative side, we asked:
- Where is inflation impacting your shopping habits?
- Everyday purchases
- Holiday shopping
- Other purchases
On the qualitative side, we asked:
- How will inflation impact your shopping this holiday season?
- Tell us why or why inflation is not affecting your holiday shopping.
- How will you still celebrate the holidays appropriately?
Here’s a quick highlight reel of reactions:
The quant results
Nineteen percent of respondents said that inflation is affecting holiday shopping already. Seventy-six percent said inflation is affecting everyday purchases.
The qual results
Respondents recorded a quick asynchronous video message for the qual questions – selfie-style, directly from their phones.
The automatic sentiment analysis showed that 34 percent of all statements were positive, 37 percent negative, and 29 percent neutral.
Unlike the quant questions – which are self-reported answers – this sentiment analysis pulls from what respondents said in their video responses.
The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of some of the most mentioned topics.
At times, I also use the Theme Builder and my knowledge of the subject to build and group themes for topics that I consider related.
Next, I read through the transcripts of the responses. This is an easy way to read some more in-depth, skim ahead when applicable, and go back to previous answers in seconds.
Examples of what people said
“There’ll be more budgeting ahead of time and buying gifts leading up to the holiday season versus that last-minute Black Friday craziness,” said Chelsey, 33, of Indianapolis.
“This year, I’m not going to be able to buy nowhere near or spend as much money as I usually do,” said Ambet, 45, of Colorado Springs.
“Everything is more expensive. Everything is. So the price of toys and all that stuff will probably be going up. I’ll have more stuff bought online this year and shipped to us. Probably not wait until the last minute to do it all, either,” said Katherine, 31, of Bolivar.
“I definitely believe that the inflation with the high prices these days will affect holidays and spending. It’s affecting even driving around the city. Gas prices are so high, and prices of groceries are so high. Don’t think it will affect the fact that we are still going to get together as a family. We’re still going to try and put a nice meal on the table,” said Kelley, 51, of Kenosha.
“I don’t think inflation will impact my holiday shopping because I always buy items ahead of time. May opt to spend a little less, but it won’t hinder my holiday shopping. I still celebrate the holidays with my family as I do every year,” said Adam 43, of New York.
“So inflation will impact my shopping for the holiday season just because I definitely won’t be buying as much for my significant other and my friends,” said Craig, 45, of Pepperell.
“Saving for Christmas is always something I’ve done starting in July. It’s making it harder to save more money than I usually would. But it’s affecting us. Just everyday life, saving for birthdays and fun events and holidays,” said Karlena, 31, of Edgewater.
“I think the inflation will impact my holiday shopping because the prices are ridiculous,” said Heaven, 24, of Melbourne.
Where to next?
Many consumers said inflation would impact or already is impacting their holiday shopping. But, this study didn’t address yet what consumers won’t live without during their holiday season. That could be the start of a helpful follow-up study: What traditions will you not live without this holiday season, and what products will you purchase to continue those traditions?