According to Coresight Research’s Holiday 2019: U.S. Shopper Survey, tariffs have become an issue for consumers in the U.S. who are evaluating year-end gift spending, and their thinking may throw a dark cloud over the season’s prospects.
Still, the study suggests that changes in consumer holiday shopping strategies due to tariffs may be worse for some than it will be for others.
In the study, Coresight stated, almost six in 10 holiday shoppers responded that they are concerned about tariffs causing prices to rise on holiday gifts. Moreover, the majority of shoppers responded that they would not increase spending to absorb any price hikes. They would rather buy fewer items, switch to lower-end retailers or buy less expensive products. Only about 16% said they were willing to increase spending to absorb tariff-related price hikes.
In other survey results, Coresight asserted that holiday shoppers will bounce between online and brick-and-mortar retail destinations. A bit more than two-thirds of shoppers expect to buy online and in store during the season. Survey respondents said that stores are their top destination for browsing, comparing and getting gift ideas. They turn to e-commerce to avoid crowds, save effort or save time.
In terms of purchasing, shoppers choose to buy in stores for ease of browsing, to see products in person and for the enjoyment of the experience.
Coresight noted that price leaders Walmart and Amazon will be the most-shopped retailers this holiday season. However, the survey indicated Walmart and Target, among retailers, stand to lose the most shoppers to Amazon.