In 2023, we are continuing to track current consumer attitudes with our Consumer Trends Report. With a special spotlight on holiday shopping and travel, election attitudes, mental health trends, and financial trends. Below are some results from the latest study.
Americans will be cautious with their spending this holiday season. More than 2 in 5 say they plan to spend less than they spent last year, with half of those saying “much less” (not shown).
The shift from brick-and-mortar spending to online spending continues. On average in 2023, consumers feel they will spend slightly more than half of their holiday dollars online. This is an increase from 2022’s expectations to spend slightly less than half online.
What hasn’t changed are the types of gifts people intend to buy. Half of consumers surveyed say they will buy some type of clothing or accessories as part of their gift shopping. Toys/Games/Hobbies and books/ music/video are the next two product categories in popularity. Across a variety of gift categories shown later in the report, the results are virtually identical in 2023 to what we captured in 2022.
Just over one-fourth of Americans have either definite or tentative plans to travel during the 2023 holiday season. Both road trips and air travel will be common and may be coupled with other forms of transportation.
Nearly half are going at least 250 miles from home. Destination vacations are more popular than staying in someone else’s home. As shown later in this report, most holiday travel will involve spending time with family.
Looking Ahead to Election Season
Most consumers say they are registered to vote and plan to vote in the 2024 presidential election in the United States.
Feelings about the presidential election are troubling. Nearly half are “concerned,” with one-fourth saying they feel “fearful.” Some have positive feelings, but negative attitudes are more common with the election one year away.
It’s possible that mental health is slipping based on the recent decline in the proportion who report their own mental health to be “excellent.” We will continue monitoring this over time.
The amount of stress consumers report feeling has remained relatively steady over time. Consistent with data from earlier this year, stress is mainly stemming from the rising cost of food/housing and inflation concerns.
Cutbacks due to inflation continue and mirror the same pattern over time. Eating out, food/grocery purchasing, and clothing/shoes/accessories remain the top cutbacks.
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Decision Analyst (www.decisionanalyst.com) is a global marketing research and analytical consulting firm specializing in strategy research, new product development, advertising testing, and advanced modeling for marketing decision optimization. For over 45 years, the firm has delivered competitive advantage to clients throughout the world in consumer-packaged goods, telecommunications, retail, technology, medical, and automotive industries.
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“Consumer Trends: Comfortable Living, is the most recent of study on the current consumer experience and the impact of the past few years. A minimum of 1,000 U.S. Adults (aged 18+) have been surveyed for each wave. All surveys are balanced by geography, gender and age.
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