Americans turn to online holiday shopping during COVID-19 pandemic

(Shane Battis)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 4:15 PM CDT
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REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (WIBW) - A recent survey shows that Americans will be turning to online holiday shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shopkick, a leading shopping rewards app, says with states shutting down for a second time due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, more Americans are looking to shop online, however, nearly half still expect to host the same amount of friends and family at 2020 holiday gatherings.

Shopkick says it surveyed almost 17,000 Americans to see when, where and how they want to shop this holiday season. It says the survey uncovered how many shoppers plan to spend, and how they think current health and economic crises will impact behaviors.

The website says while online shopping is a year-round favorite, it will be especially useful in the 2020 holiday season as shoppers try to shield families from exposure from COVID-19. IT says 67% of shoppers expect to buy holiday gifts online to avoid crowds and exposure. It says of those 65% plan to purchase gifts via Amazon, while 18% plan to shop on big-box retail sites like Target.coma nd and only 6% plan for department store sites like and

According to Shopkick, 72% of respondents plan to find gifts on Amazon, 56% plan for Etsy purchases, 43% are turning to eBay, 39% say they will be choosing Wayfair and 32% will be surfing Overstock.

The survey shows that 63% of respondents expect to spend about the same amount of money on holiday shopping as they did last year, while 23% are looking to save money and 14% are looking to spend more.

The rewards app says in 2019 low prices were the most important incentive to shoppers, however, this year 54% of shoppers are looking for free shipping, while 24% say low prices are still the most important.

Shopkick says buy online, pick up in-store options are making holiday purchases more convenient for shoppers as well. it says 17% of respondents say they will be skipping to in the BOPIS option, while 44% say they will utilize it.

Americans also seem to be buying more clothes and fewer toys according to the app. It says 25% of respondents plan to spend most of their budget on clothes, beating the 2019 top category, electronics. It says 21% plan to spend most of their budget on electronics, toys and video games.

According to Shopkick, shoppers are still itching for early holiday shopping. The survey shows 34% of respondents plan to get their shopping done before Thanksgiving while 27% plant to shop between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and 17% are planning to get all of their shopping done on Black Friday.

Shopkick also says it is no surprise that almost half of Americans plan to host fewer friends and family at gatherings considering the surge in COVID-19 cases. However, it says 45% still plan on hosting the same number of people, while 5% plan to host an even larger holiday celebration.

“As the most important season for retail quickly approaches, there is rising concern about the impact the COVID-19 crisis could have on consumer shopping behaviors,” said Dave Fisch, general manager of Shopkick. “Our data shows that holiday shoppers are already preparing for the season in new ways. With less of a focus on the experiential holiday activations that have dominated years past, brands and retailers must step up their omnichannel and e-commerce capabilities to be successful through the end of the year and beyond.”  

For more information on the study, visit

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