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For retailers, the holiday season truly is the most wonderful—and critical—time of the year. Will gift-givers feel extra generous or a little Grinchy this year?

A look at how consumers are spending this holiday season. Our gift to you: Actionable insights to help you prepare for the most wonderful (shopping) time of the year.

Financially festive.

In 2020, holiday retail sales totaled over $188 billion in the US, an increase of nearly a third over the previous year (Adobe Analytics). In positive news for retailers, that trend is expected to continue. Over one-third (34%) of shoppers plan to spend more on holiday gifts this season, while 41% intend to spend the same amount as last year. Only 18% of people expect to spend less.

Don’t underestimate the spending power of the younger shopper: Gen Zers (57%) and Millennials (53%) are more likely than any other age group to expand their budgets this holiday season (Gen Xers: 32%, Baby Boomers: 12%) compared to last year.

What will shoppers dish for deals?

So, how much are holiday shoppers prepared to spend this season? 50% anticipate spending between $251-1000 on all their holiday gifts this year. Klarna shoppers are more flush with spending power this holiday season, with 29% planning to spend between $1001-2001+ on holiday gifts compared to only 19% of the general population.

From: Me, To: Who?

The holiday season is all about giving, but who’s on the receiving end? 79% of shoppers expect to buy for family, while nearly half plan to purchase gifts for friends (46%) and their significant others (41%). And whether it’s all the working from home or shoppers simply aren’t as close with Sarah in accounting as they used to be, a mere 7% expect to shop for work colleagues.

of shoppers expect to buy for family.

plan to purchase gifts for friends.


plan to purchase gifts for their significant others.

Festive and frugal.

The majority of shoppers plan to choose smarter interest-free options at checkout.

Gen Z, Millennial, and Gen X shoppers are more likely to pay with debit (59%) over credit (50%), and the majority also seek out flexible payment options, like Klarna’s Pay in 4 solution, when shopping this holiday season (Gen Z: 75%, Millennials: 76%, Gen X: 60%). In addition to making big purchases more accessible, flexible payments help people spread the costs of the holiday season.

Fur babies are family.

When it comes to the most cuddly family members, 75% of pet parents intend to buy presents for their furry companions.

But while shoppers might “like” their friends’ pet pics on Instagram, don’t expect them to buy Fido or Fifi a special treat this season. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of shoppers say they’re not shopping for anyone else’s pet this holiday.

See the top growing categories.

It’s ‘elf care season.

Who’s topping everyone’s “must shop for” list?

Self-love still matters, too–particularly to younger shoppers. 59% of Millennials and 52% of Gen Zers purchased gifts for themselves last holiday season, and the majority will do the same this year. 60% of Millennials and 53% of Gen Zers will buy items off their wish lists if they don’t receive them from others.






Significant other.



Want more insights on shopper profiles, product preferences and more?

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