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Welcome to Klarna’s Shopping Pulse!

2 years into the pandemic, digital transformation has accelerated, and shoppers have turned online more than ever before. Many retailers have pivoted to evolve their online presence to meet new shopper expectations online. But does this mean physical stores are irrelevant? Not at all. Our research shows physical stores still play an essential role for shoppers. That said, many people anticipate they will shop online even more often in the future.

In this report, you’ll find a pulse check on shopping habits worldwide.

Happy exploring!

Methodology.

Insights from Klarna’s consumer research, conducted in cooperation with Nepa across 13 countries (the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland). The research is conducted quarterly and always includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country. In total, 14,114 consumers participated during Q2 2022 (April-June). The sample sizes are nationally representative, naturally including both Klarna users and non-Klarna users, and have been selected by research agency Nepa.

13 countries

14,114 consumers

150m consumers

400,000 retailers

Online shopping data.
Insights from Klarna’s shopping data. Klarna serves more than 150 million consumers and 400,000 retailers.

Digital transformation in retail.

Online shopping has accelerated amid the pandemic. And there are no signs of the digital transformation slowing down. Shoppers’ preferences for online shopping continue to increase despite restrictions lifting in physical stores worldwide.

Online shopping is on the rise.

Shoppers globally are growing increasingly fond of online shopping. Not surprisingly, many retailers have stepped up their digital offerings during the pandemic. Younger generations prefer the online shopping experience while their older peers are trending in the same direction as they grow increasingly tech-savvy.

Online shopping

is preferred over physical stores by the majority in Sweden and the UK.

Rapid growth

the fastest increasing preference for online shopping is found in Austria, Finland and the Netherlands.

Where shoppers would do most of their shopping if they could choose freely.

The charts below show how shoppers in each country would choose split their shopping between online and in-store. The remaining population has a neutral preference.

Attitudes towards online and physical stores.

Shoppers’ choice heavily depends on whether they are looking to save time and money—or whether they are looking for better social interaction and customer service.

Younger generations think they get better social interaction online to a higher extent. This correlates with being more likely to purchase items seen on social media and attend live shopping events.

Saving time & money

are the 2 main perceived benefits of online shopping.

Better social interaction & service

are the 2 main perceived benefits of in-store shopping.

Physical stores are still the norm for shoppers.

Consumers are still shopping in physical stores more frequently than they are shopping online despite the growing preference for online shopping.

The charts below show the percentage of shoppers in each market who have shopped online and in physical stores respectively at least once a week.

Some categories appear more available online than others.

While some retail categories are shopped more often online, physical stores still see certain product types are bought more often in person. The biggest differences are found across some of the most commonly bought categories, indicating an opportunity for disruption, as online shopping’s main drivers are convenience and the ability to save time.

The charts below show the average percentage of shoppers in each market who have shopped the category online and in physical stores respectively.

Groceries and Pharmaceuticals

are 2 of the most frequently shopped categories in physical stores. The only exception is found in Sweden, where Pharmaceutical products are bought online roughly as often as offline.

Clothing & Shoes

one of the most frequently bought categories, is shopped about as often online as in physical stores in most countries. Younger generations are more likely to have shopped this category more often online than in physical stores across almost all countries.

Traditional offline categories ripe for disruption.

Online shopping means people can access offers from all over the world, regardless of whether they are in a major city or the countryside. Still, some products appear more available than others.

The chart illustrates consumers’ mindset with regards to the extent they prefer to shop online and in physical stores.

Groceries

is the most preferred category to shop in physical stores across all countries and has its highest online shopping preference in the UK, with the US not far behind.

Digital disruption

Groceries, Pharmaceutical products, and Home & Garden, which are the most preferred categories to shop in physical stores, have had the biggest increase in online shopping preference.

Technology investments are a must.

Today’s shoppers are looking for innovative solutions that give them a better shopping experience. These are the main focus areas for online and physical stores according to shoppers themselves.

Frictionless payments

is the most wanted improvement across all countries—both online and in-store.

Personalized service and product recommendations

are next on the wishlist, followed by seamless transition between online and physical stores.

Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR)

is currently twice as anticipated for online shopping in the wider population—but US Gen Z’ers stand out by expecting investments to the same extent in physical stores.

Online shopping habits.

Online shopping has evolved into an integral part of retail; it has become a natural part of the everyday life of consumers. Data from Klarna shows when and where shoppers all over the world shop and how their favorite products shift across regions.

The online shopping map.

Select a country in the list below to see where people shop the most online per capita, where online shopping is growing the fastest, and how the most commonly bought products shift across regions. The data is from January 1 – June 30, 2022.

The index for “Favourite Products” is calculated in relation to the national average, and does not necessarily reflect the products that are most often bought overall—but most often in comparison with other regions in the same country.

An average online shopping day.

The most prominent perk of shopping online is how it can be done any time, from any corner of the world. It can be both a time saver and a convenient way of getting access to products not in stock in your local physical store. Most online purchases take place late in the evening, often in the comfort of shoppers’ own homes.

The chart below illustrates how purchases are distributed during an average day. The data is from January 1 – June 30, 2022.

Mornings

are the most popular time to buy for older generations. It is also the peak hours for desktop computers.

Evenings

are the most popular time to shop online in most countries. And this is when mobile shopping increases the most.

Night time

means that the share of mobile phones increase further and that consumers to a higher extent opt for payments methods that don’t require them to type in physical card credentials.

An average online shopping week.

While the way shoppers distribute the purchases during the day is universal, the most common day to shop varies much more clearly across countries.

The chart below illustrates how purchases are distributed during an average week. The data is from January 1 – June 30, 2022.

The pandemic outbreak

immediately caused a shift in consumption patterns all over the world, increasing the share of purchases during weekdays. This effect lasted only a couple of weeks and soon returned to normal.

Sundays

are the preferred days to shop in the Nordics and DACH.

Evolving payment preferences.

Payments are a fundamental part of the shopping experience that continues to evolve with emerging preferences driven by technological innovation.

The rise of Buy Now, Pay Later.

Shoppers all over the world are turning to Buy Now, Pay Later to an increasingly higher extent. In fact, there are only two countries in which shoppers prefer credit cards over Buy Now, Pay Later.

According to the consumers themselves, the main reasons for choosing Buy Now, Pay Later over credit cards are to avoid having an open line of credit and save money, since it’s cheaper compared to credit cards that charge additional fees and interest.

11 out of 13

the preference for Buy Now, Pay Later is higher than credit cards in eleven out of thirteen countries. The only countries in which most shoppers would opt for a credit card over BNPL are Denmark and France.

Try before you buy.

The majority of shoppers are more positive towards online retailers that allow them to receive the goods before they pay. No physical store would require shoppers to deposit a payment before they touch, feel and try the goods, and only reimburse their shoppers a few bank days later if they didn’t end up buying it. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that shoppers turn to retailers that bridge that gap in the online shopping experience—and enable them to turn their sitting rooms into fitting rooms.

Sustainability minded shoppers.

A significant share of shoppers are looking for brands and retailers to act in a more sustainable way. Adhering to this calling can boost businesses from compliance to competitive advantage.

Sustainability minded shoppers actively seek out brands and retailers that share their values.

The importance for brands and retailers to act in an environmentally sustainable way is deemed as important across generations. Younger generations more often take the environmental impact of delivery options into consideration when shopping online, and seek out brands that are ethical and sustainable to a higher extent.

1 in 3

consider it important that brands act in an environmentally sustainable way.

1 in 4

actively seek out brands that are ethical and sustainable.

Top priorities.

The majority of shoppers that take environmental impact into consideration are looking for information that help guide their purchase decision, including both environmental and social impact of the business.

>70%

want retailers to promote fair labor conditions, use recycled or sustainable material in production and actively combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions.

Transparency is key.

The majority of shoppers that take environmental impact into consideration are looking for information that helps guide their purchase decision. They want more information at product level, about how it was made and the potential environmental and social impacts.

57%

are looking for ways to track their carbon footprint while shopping.

Social shopping on the rise.

Social media and online live shopping events drive increased engagement, discovery, and more informed purchasing decisions—particularly among younger generations.

Digitalization of shopping.

The path to shopping begins in similar patterns according to countries and generations, with search engines (e.g., Google) being the channel of choice for product search. Consumers tend to visit online stores a second time to research their products.

Followers become buyers.

On average, 33% of shoppers have purchased a product after seeing it on social media. And about half of them did it directly from the platform.

Social channels to shopping discovery.

After discovering it on social media, purchasing a product is becoming common in all consumer groups—and especially among younger generations.

Influencers

have a bigger impact than retailers on Gen Z, and the opposite is true for older generations.

Retailers

have a higher impact than influencers in most countries. France and the Netherlands being the only exceptions.

Brands

have the highest biggest following in all countries.

Social media climbers.

Social media has made it easier than ever to discover new trends and items. Shoppers find both inspiration—and shopping opportunities.

TikTok

is more popular than Facebook for Gen Z in every country.

Instagram

is together with Facebook the most popular platform for Millennials in every country, except for Finland, where Youtube has the most impact.

Facebook

is the overall most popular platform for Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers.

Taking the shopping experience to the next level.

Shoppers are looking for innovative online shopping experiences, and are keen to engage with new types of experiences such as livestream shopping.

2x

US shoppers participate the most in livestream shopping events. It’s about twice as common that they have attended an event compared to the global average.

1 in 3

Gen Z’ers and Millennials have participated in a live shopping event in the US.

Benefits of livestream shopping.

The modern online version of teleshopping invites shoppers to engage with their favorite influencers to get inspiration and get access to exclusive discounts.

Inspiration

is the main perceived benefit on a global average. But the sentiment varies across countries, from real-time engagement in the US to access to exclusive discounts in Germany and France, and more informed purchase decisions in the Netherlands.

Innovative formats

like augmented/virtual reality appeal the most to Millennials and Gen Z’ers.

Mobile shopping online and in-store.

As smartphones and tablets continue to take screen time from computers, mobile devices are expected to play a central role in the continued digitalization of retail.

Mobile shopping on the rise.

While most shoppers still prefer traditional desktops or laptops when shopping online, the preference for mobile devices is rising in the countries with the lowest preference at the beginning of the year.

Increasing mobile preference

all countries that have had a recorded preference below 30% in 2021 have shown a clear trend for increasing mobile preference at the expense of computers. France is the only country that currently has a mobile shopping preference lower than 30%.

Majority of mobile shoppers

the US is the only country where the majority of shoppers have a higher preference for mobile devices than computers.

The in-store shopping journey begins online.

Online research, also called “webrooming,” plays an important role throughout the in-store shopping journey. The majority of modern day trips to the mall start online.

The chart below illustrates the percentage of in-store shoppers who usually research online before shopping in physical stores.

Online pre-search

is most prevalent for Clothing & Shoes, and Electronics.

Electronics

stands out as the category researched by at least 8 out of 10 shoppers, across all generations.

Online research is part of the in-store shopping experience.

Smartphones have become ubiquitous for shoppers while they’re in a store. Similar to online, in-store shoppers are also making comparisons for competitive prices and offers, and checking product reviews and testimonials to make sure they’ve found the right product.

The chart below illustrates the share of in-store shoppers who say they use their smartphones to research products when shopping in physical stores.

The most frequent in-store researchers

are found in Australia, Sweden and the US.

Young shoppers

are using their phone in-store more often. Finland is the most prominent example, where this behavior is found with 92% of Gen Z’ers while only 42% of Baby Boomers do the same.

A year from now.

Over the past 2 decades, online shopping has pivoted from something for early adopters and enthusiasts into the preferred way to shop for people all over the world. Technological innovation will continue to marvel and excite, retailers will continue to improve their digital offering, and the digitalization of retail will continue to shape the future of shopping.

Predictions for the future.

There’s still a general belief that the majority of shopping will be done in physical stores in a year’s time—but preferences are quickly shifting.

This chart illustrates the share of shoppers believing they will make the majority of their shopping online or in physical stores respectively.

And that’s that.

Klarna’s Shopping Pulse insights are updated quarterly, so stay tuned for future updates.

Thirsty for more knowledge?

Make sure to check out the other reports available at Klarna Insights.

Welcome to Klarna’s Money Management Pulse!

Technology has changed the way people manage their everyday personal finances. Checking your account balance is no longer a chore, and payments happen in the blink of an eye without any physical cash transactions. Yet some habits remain, and preferences shift heavily across generations and the globe.

In this report, you will find a pulse check on money management habits in a selection of countries around the world.

Happy exploring!

Methodology.

Insights from Klarna’s consumer research, conducted in cooperation with Nepa across 13 countries (the US, UK, Ireland, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark). The research is conducted quarterly and always includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country.

In total, more than 14,114 consumers participated during Q2 2022 (April-June). The sample sizes are nationally representative, naturally including both Klarna users and non-Klarna users, and have been selected by research agency Nepa.

13 countries

14,114 consumers

High interest in personal finances.

It’s a pattern seen across generations. However, Millennials express the highest interest—which correlates with their frequent interactions with financial providers.

Gender has a bigger impact than age.

Although interest in personal finances is consistent across generations, men are generally more interested in personal finance.

Millennials

have the highest overall interest in personal finances compared to younger and older generations.

Gender

has a bigger impact than age. Men express a higher interest in personal finances than women, and the gap is highest in the US, UK, Austria and Sweden. The only countries where women express a higher interest than men are Austria, Finland and Norway—of which the latter two also are the countries with the highest overall interest.

Cash is no longer king.

Our increasingly digitized society also means preferences for payments in physical stores are evolving. In fact, only 2 out of the 13 countries covered in this report have a population preferring cash.

Innovation introduces new habits.

Gen Z’ers preference for digital devices like smartphones and smartwatches means neither hard cash or physical cards have a natural place in their pockets anymore. And with smartwatches on the rise, and biometrics on the horizon, much is likely to change in this space in the near future.

Physical cards growing old

the generations preference for physical cards grows bigger with age, while the preference for cash splits relatively evenly in comparison.

Digital overtaking cash

there is a distinct generational differentiation is between physical cards and digital devices like smartphones and smartwatches. Gen Z have a higher preference for paying with smartphones or smartwatches than with cash in all countries.

Contrasting payment preferences across countries.

The difference in payment preferences gets even clearer when the countries are placed next to each other in the index.

Cash remains royal in DACH

Germany and Austria stand out with a high preference for cash compared to the other countries. On the other side of the coin, consumers in Nordic countries seldom use cash and prefer physical payment cards to a much higher extent.

Cash in pocket.

How thick a shoppers’ wallet is varies across countries. The US stands out as the country with the highest amount of cash in shoppers’ wallets as opposed to Nordic countries such as Sweden and Norway.

$94

is the average amount of cash in Americans’ wallets, the most out of any country. That’s $35 more than the average amount of cash found in Swedish wallets ($59), who have the least cash in their wallets.

Cash withdrawals.

Until alternative payment methods become universal, cash will still be relevant. And there will be a need to access funds before payment can be made.

Cash withdrawals are naturally more frequent in countries with a higher preference for cash. Still, they don’t scale with preferences—which may indicate unplanned withdrawals for consumers who would have preferred to pay otherwise.

Younger generations tend to withdraw cash more often despite preferring to pay with digital devices, indicating that availability is not meeting the demands.

3x

the average American withdraws cash almost 3 times as often as the average Swede.

Digitalization is changing the way people bank.

All over the world, well-established banks are closing down their physical banking locations as consumers increasingly interact with their funds digitally. At the same time, neo-banks are challenging incumbents with a digital-first approach for specific banking services.

Mobile banking on the rise.

New and innovative mobile apps are offered by both the established banks and the challengers. Meanwhile, consumers have become increasingly tech-savvy.

Mobile and tablet

usage for financial services is generally trending upwards worldwide. This is especially true for activities such as checking one’s account balance and money transfers. Meanwhile, the usage of computer browsers is trending downwards across the world.

Digital banking around the world.

Thanks to the increased availability of innovative digital solutions, higher tech-savviness, and raised interest in personal finance—the way people bank is changing. Still, the pace at which it is all evolving varies across demographics.

Gen Z & Millennials

are mobile first, using apps and browsers on mobile devices, while Gen X and Baby Boomers more often use computers to access banking services.

Younger generations interact with banking services at a higher frequency.

Mobile banking increases accessibility to services, enabling less financially experienced consumers to retain better control over their money.

Americans and Brits

interact with financial services more often than others, across all activities measured.

Younger generations

use financial services more often, especially for transferring money, sorting expenses into categories and managing their savings. The youngest Americans and Australians manage their savings about twice as often as their peers in the Nordic countries.

Attitudes to savings.

When it comes to saving money, the differences are not as evident in the share of income saved as it is in the way that people choose to do with that money. The most significant differences are found in the attitudes around investing money to grow funds or potentially risk losing one’s funds.

8 out of 10 save money.

Across all countries and generations, consumers consistently are saving money. 

82%

saves money from their income in the wider global population. Gen Z’ers (90%) are the most frugal generation.

12%

is the average share of income saved. Gen Z’ers (17%) allocate money for savings to the highest extent.

Save in a bank account. Or invest.

The attitude towards utilizing various investments to grow savings or keep money in a bank account is shared across generations. But not across countries.

Gender

has a bigger impact than age, and men invest at a higher rate than women in all countries.

Country of residence

has an even bigger impact. The difference between the share of the population saving money in bank accounts and those investing is highest in the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, and France. (It’s lowest in Sweden and Finland.)

Stocks, bonds—or cryptocurrency.

There are numerous ways to invest for those willing to do so, each with its potential upsides and risks. 

Stocks

are the most popular form of investment in every country except Germany, Austria, and Sweden, who instead prefer mutual funds and ETF’s.

2x

men are twice as likely to invest in cryptocurrencies than women.

Environmentally sustainable investments are in-demand.

Growing money—while promoting planet health. The majority has considered investing in companies with an environmentally sustainable profile.

1 in 3

consumers have actively chosen to invest in environmentally sustainable companies, and as many have considered it but not yet done so. Only 27% say that they choose the investment product that will yield the highest returns regardless if they are sustainable or not.

Saving for a rainy day—or a sunny place.

The most common reasons for saving differ across generations, and depending on where you live.

2x

Baby boomers are more than twice as likely to be saving money for the purpose of having a buffer for unforeseen expenses compared to Gen Z’ers.

7x

Gen Z’ers are instead primarily saving to afford a house or apartment as primary residence. They are 7 times more likely to do that compared to Baby boomers, 3 times compared to Gen X’ers and slightly more likely than Millennials, who represent the generational tipping point between primarily focusing on building a rainy day fund and entering the housing market.

A bright future.

People across the world are optimistic about their future financial outlook—and more people believe they will be in a better place in the near future.

Most have a positive outlook.

And it is especially the young who believe their financial situation will be improved.

And that’s that.

Klarna’s Money Management Pulse insights are updated quarterly, so stay tuned for future updates.

Thirsty for more knowledge?

Make sure to check out the other reports that are available at Klarna Insights!

Loyalty cards.

Plastic loyalty cards. Most of us have a whole bunch of them stacked in our wallets or lying around at home and have most definitely been offered to sign up to many more. They promise us discounts, cashback and rewards for being loyal customers when shopping in-store. But there are only so many loyalty cards you can fit into one wallet. How can brands convince consumers to sign up to yet another loyalty program? How is shoppers’ behaviour with respect to loyalty cards changing in the face of the rising popularity of mobile payments?

In this report, we deep dive into the attitudes towards loyalty cards across 19 markets, with responses from 20,000 consumers across the world.

Happy exploring!

Methodology.

Klarna research occurred in May 2022, in cooperation with Dynata and across 19 countries (US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Spain, and Portugal). The survey includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country. In total, 20,413 consumers ages 18 to 75 participated.

19 countries

20,413 consumers

Are there more loyalty cards or wallets in the world?

The retail version of the “doors or wheels” brain teaser could be “loyalty cards or wallets”. If you check the homes and pockets of shoppers across the world, will you find more loyalty cards or wallets?

The majority has more than one.

Many retailers offer incentives and benefits to retain loyal customers and it’s clear they are very popular. While very few shoppers are not tempted by discounts and rewards from their favorite retailers, the vast majority has more than one.

84%

have at least one loyalty card.

68%

have more than one.

Most loyalty card holders use it at least one once a week.

Whether you’re shopping for groceries and everyday essentials, making a dream purchase or have found yourself at the checkout with an impulse buy, reward programs appear to work well as an incentive for using loyalty cards. After all, every penny spent counts towards a return. 2 out of 3 are using a loyalty card on a weekly basis, while 9 out of 10 are using them once a month. An estimate based on the frequency of usage shows that the average shopper uses a loyalty card around 108 times each year.

Overwhelming amounts of physical cards.

Today, despite a massive shift towards digital payments, you are still very likely to find a plastic loyalty card in most shoppers’ wallets. But you are equally as likely to find a shopper who has left one or more of their cards at home, or rejected the idea of signing up to another loyalty program altogether, unwilling to carry another card with them while out shopping.

The wide availability of loyalty programs is overwhelming for shoppers.

Ever been out shopping and been asked to join another reward program? You are not alone. We’ve all been there, stood at the checkout weighing up whether it’s worth signing up to another loyalty program. Is the opportunity to save money great enough? Is it worth having to carry another card with me? With the majority of retailers offering a loyalty program these days, consumers are feeling overwhelmed. This sentiment is felt most strongly by younger generations, while the Baby Boomers are the most open to joining new and a broader number of programs.

Many loyalty cards are left behind by shoppers.

Despite the benefits of discounts, rewards and cash back loyalty programs, the majority of shoppers are not bringing all their loyalty cards with them when they go shopping – which means that they risk losing out on the benefits if caught without their card at the checkout.

52%

52% of shoppers don’t carry all their loyalty cards with them.

Gen Z

are the most likely to leave their physical cards at home, and less than a third (31%) have all their loyalty cards available when they go shopping.

The vast majority of shoppers have rejected a new loyalty card.

There are no downsides to signing up for a loyalty card… or are there? Despite loyalty cards being offered to shoppers for free, with the intention to save users money, consumers still reject signing up to new loyalty programs. Why? For the majority, it comes down to how attractive the reward program is, although nearly one-third have also avoided a loyalty program simply because they didn’t want to add another card to their wallet. What’s clear is for retailers to onboard new loyalty members, the kickback needs to outweigh the hassle of signing-up and committing to another card.

74%

of shoppers have rejected a loyalty card. Gen Z’ers (81%) are the most likely to have done so, while Baby Boomers (55%) are the least.

33%

say it is because they don’t want another card to carry with them – or any plastic cards at all.

Missing out on the benefits.

Have you ever reached the checkout to discover you left your loyalty card at home so can’t collect the reward points? Or that you previously declined one in the same checkout because you didn’t want to carry another plastic card? You are not alone with this either, and you are once again more likely a member of the younger generations.

Is the future of loyalty cards digital?

The shift towards digital has never been faster. Today shoppers are in search of more efficient solutions that help them save time and money when shopping. With smart ways to pay on your phone, loyalty cards will follow a similar transition.

Shoppers are positive towards replacing their plastic cards with a mobile app.

Unsurprisingly, given that shoppers express feeling overwhelmed by the amount of loyalty programs available and as a result, the number of plastic cards they need to carry with them, an overwhelming majority are positive towards carrying them digitally.

73% of shoppers globally are positive about replacing their plastic cards with an app that stores all of their loyalty and rewards programs digitally. While this trend is reflective across demographics, the sentiment is the strongest among the younger generations, with 81% of Gen Z’ers and 82% of Millennials look forward to a future in which they never miss out on potential benefits in the checkout when shopping at their favorite stores – assuming they wouldn’t leave their smartphones at home.

And that’s that.

Thirsty for more knowledge?

Make sure to check out the other reports available at Klarna Insights.

Welcome to Klarna’s Black Friday & Cyber Monday deep dive!

This insights report provides an overview of what the end of November sales phenomenon means to shoppers all over the world.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to rise in popularity, the American sales event has been adapted differently by shoppers and retailers across the world. In many European countries, the concept of having a dedicated day for online shopping has been shrugged off, as retailers offer similar discounts during Black Friday, and in recent years the sales period has gradually extended to include the full week. Meanwhile, in the US, online shopping growth during Black Friday has outpaced Cyber Monday and looks bound to overtake the position as the biggest online shopping day to date in 2021.

More than a year into the pandemic, shoppers from all generations have been turning online to a greater extent than ever before as retailers have pivoted to evolve their online presence. What effect will this have during the biggest sales week of the year?

Familiarize yourself with shoppers’ plans and expectations leading up to the most intensive shopping days of the year, and keep track of  the latest updates from Klarna’s shopping data.

Enjoy!

Methodology.

Survey data.

Insights from Klarna’s consumer research, conducted in cooperation with Nepa across 11 countries (the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Finland). The research was conducted during October and November 2021 and includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country. In total, more than 11,000 consumers participated. The sample sizes are nationally representative, naturally including both Klarna users and non-Klarna users, and have been selected by research agency Nepa.

11 countries

11 000 consumers

147m consumers

400 000 retailers

Online shopping data.
Insights from Klarna’s shopping data. Klarna serves more than 147 million consumers and 400 000 retailers.

Planning makes perfect.

Late November sales have gradually increased their share of total sales during the holiday season at an accelerated pace during the past decade, and the named sales days have extended their footprint outside of the US. This year, shoppers all over the world have been eager to get an earlier start than usual due to the logistic challenges and shortages that have been caused by the pandemic. It is clear that many have planned ahead, and there is a strong correlation between setting a budget, planning purchases, waiting to make more expensive big-ticket purchases—and expecting to find a bargain.

Online shoppers are more meticulous.

Shopping online and in the physical world are done differently. Meticulous planning, budgeting, price awareness, and online shopping are strongly correlated. Those who intend to go to physical stores go about their shopping more spontaneously.

Insights.

  • Online shoppers in general have a more clear idea about how they will spend before they start shopping
  • In-store shoppers on the other hand are likely to use their smartphones instore to make a more informed purchase decision

Gen Z & Millennials are on it, too.

November sales are more embraced by the younger generations. Gen Z & Millennials budget to a further extent than their older peers and have a more clear idea on what they are going to buy before the sales get started.

Insights.

  • Gen Z & Millennials are planning their shopping during the end of November sales to a further extent compared to older generations.
  • 9 in 10 Gen Z’ers have set an overall spending budget for the holidays in Australia and the UK.
  • 8 in 10 Gen Z’ers are expecting big price drops during Black Friday, and more than 7 in 10 know what they are going to buy.

Holiday shopping on a budget.

A lot of shoppers are taking the opportunity to get more value for their money by shopping during the November sales. And many are looking to cross off a large chunk of items from their holiday shopping list in one swoop.

Insights.

  • US consumers will look to do 23% of their holiday shopping during Black Friday alone.
  • Gen Z, followed closely by Millennials, have planned to do most of their holiday shopping compared to older generations.

Shopping for both oneself and others.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales at the end of November are the perfect time for those that are shopping on a budget. The price drops encourage many shoppers to wait and consolidate their shopping needs that very week. They are not only buying holiday gifts, but also shopping for themselves.

November sales have become a natural part of holiday gift shopping.

Many holiday shoppers are looking to seize the opportunity to get bargains on products they will use themselves while finding holiday gifts for loved ones that are otherwise bought at a more expensive price point.

Insights.

  • Clothing & Shoes, Electronics and Beauty are the product categories most are looking to buy on a global average. The only countries where another product category makes the top 3 list are the UK (Entertainment), Australia (Home & Garden) and Norway (Leisure, Sports & Hobby)
  • Children products stand out as the product category most are looking to buy for others, while Clothing & Shoes are the category most shop for themselves.

Online shopping is gaining ground.

Black Friday is no longer in store for US shoppers only, and might overtake Cyber Monday as the biggest online shopping day ever during 2021. In Northern Europe, this transition has already happened, as both online and in-store sales mainly revolve around Black Friday with most retailers offering discounts in the lead up to it.

Black Friday shopping no longer requires protective gear.

Shoppers want to avoid crowds and do their bargain hunting from the comfort of their living room. While Black Friday is still physical stores first, many shoppers are looking to make a large share of their purchases online this year—and retailers are quick to adapt to evolving consumer needs and preferences.

The chart below illustrates the extent to which shoppers are planning to shop online and in physical stores on Black Friday.

Insights.

  • On average, Erotic materials and toys, Entertainment and Electronics are the categories consumers most prefer to shop online.
  • Home & Garden stands out as the category consumers most plan to shop in physical stores.

Online shopping is on the rise everywhere.

During 2021, shoppers all over the world have grown increasingly fond of the online experience—which, unsurprisingly, has led many retailers to step up their digital offering during the pandemic.

The chart below illustrates consumers’ mindset in regards to the extent to which they choose to shop online and in physical stores.

Insights.

  • On average consumers across the globe are evolving to more online shopping for Black Friday sales.
  • The UK, Germany and Sweden are leading the pack for this online transition.

In-store with a digital footprint.

Black Friday was born in physical stores, and even though the appetite for online shopping has increased amidst the pandemic, going bargain hunting in physical stores will remain top of mind for many shoppers.

The in-store shopping journey begins online.

The digital evolution does not only mean that people are shopping more online. Online research, also called webrooming, plays an important role throughout the in-store shopping journey. The modern day trip to the mall starts online for the majority. 

The chart below illustrates the percentage of in-store shoppers who usually research online before shopping in physical stores.

Insights.

  • Online pre-search is most prevalent for Clothing & shoes, Electronics and Beauty categories.
  • Electronics stands out as a category that is researched by at least 8 out of 10 shoppers, which is consistent across all generations

Online research has become part of the in-store shopping experience.

The evolution of smartphones has forever changed the in-store shopping experience. Similar to online, in-store shoppers are also making comparisons for competitive prices and offers, and checking product reviews and testimonials to make sure they have found the right product. When you see someone browsing their phone between the aisles, there is a high likelihood that they are not texting someone or checking  their social accounts, but rather making sure they get all the information they need to make a more informed purchase decision.

The chart below illustrates the share of instore shoppers that say they use their smartphones to research products when they shop in physical stores.

Insights.

  • Americans, Australians and Scandinavians do this the most often.
  • The stereotypical Nordic preference for an extended personal space may become quite handy for in-store shoppers wanting to keep shop owners unaware that they are not texting or checking the weather, but instead are using their smartphones to casually check whether the grass is greener somewhere else

2021 data updates.

In this section you will find regular updates on the developments based on shopping data from Klarna. During 2021, Black Friday takes place on the 26th of November, and Cyber Monday on the 29th. This section will be updated during the week, starting in the lead up to Black Friday and ending with Cyber Monday.

The online shopping map.

Select a country in the list below to see where people shop the most online per capita, where people are shopping the most compared to an average day, and how the most popular product categories shift across regions.

The index for “Favourite Products” is calculated in relation to the national average, and does not necessarily reflect the products that are most often bought overall—but most often in comparison with other regions in the same country.

22 – 29 November 2021

That’s it for this time!

Member of the press and looking for additional information?

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Klarna team via press@klarna.com

Do It Yourself: Christmas Gifts!

The holidays are about coming together with friends and family, and sharing time—and hey, the gifts are lovely too. Shopping for the perfect item can feel stressful at times, and there’s something extra meaningful about something handmade, which is why it’s no surprise that about 1 in 4 people has plans to craft something for their loved ones.

And in some countries, the urge to craft is even higher, with nearly half of people intending to make something. For some, it’s cooking and baking; for others, pottery or carpentry crafts are taking flight. Regardless of the medium, there are a wide range of projects around the world entering their final sprints to make sure people’s nearest and dearest unwrap something with a personal touch.

Read on to find out what people are making, and why.

Methodology.

Insights from Klarna’s consumer research, conducted in cooperation with Nepa across 11 countries (the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Finland). The research was conducted during October and November 2021 and includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country. In total, more than 11,000 consumers participated. The sample sizes are nationally representative, naturally including both Klarna users and non-Klarna users, and have been selected by research agency Nepa.

11 countries

11,000 consumers

3 continents

Santa’s helpers.

Worldwide, people are crafting special items for their friends and family. The likelihood that someone is crafting in their workshop right now for you increases depending on where you live. We’ve examined which countries are the most hands- when it comes to gift-making.

Santa’s helpers.

One legend puts Santa’s workshop in Lapland, Finland. We can neither confirm or deny whether his helpers participated in this survey, but creativity clearly flows in the surrounding areas as 40% of Finns will be making their own Christmas gift this year.

Germany & Austria

the craftiest folks on the European continent come from Austria (47%) and Germany (40%), whose citizenry are likeliest to be making a gift for someone this year. Both nations’ populations are more than twice as likely to be preparing custom gifts than their neighbors in Belgium, France, and the Netherlands.

Santa’s little youngest helpers.

Gen Z are often also called the Maker Generation, and their drive to create and DIY their lives comes out in gift-giving as well. They are the most likely adults to be crafting something personal and unique. Meanwhile, their Baby Boomer grandparents largely prefer to avoid it all together.

Gen Z

The youngest have the highest share of creatives out of any generation. Especially in Germany, as 74% will be making their own Christmas gift.

5,5x

In the UK, it is more than 5 times as common that Gen Z will be making Christmas gifts compared to Baby Boomers.

Holiday Craftsmanship.

The most common themes of holiday craftsmanship vary, not only across generations but across countries. After all, not everyone needs a new knitted sweater or scarf. However, there is a common theme uniting people.

Holiday foods are number one.

The fastest way to someone’s heart is through the stomach, which must be why food items (whether baking or cooking) take center stage as the most common DIY holiday gifts.

One-knit wonder

Norway is the only country where baking and cooking is not the most common theme for making your own Christmas gift. A remarkable 46% of Norwegians expect to knit something for a loved one this year.

Young artists and experienced bakers.

The younger you are, the more likely you are to get your hands busy with jewellery, pottery or painting. And the older you are, the more likely you are to set up a Christmas gifting workshop in the kitchen.

3-4x

It is between three to four times as common to be crafting jewellery, pottery or paint in the youngest generation compared to the oldest.

Painting

Painting is the most popular DIY Christmas gift for American Gen Z’ers. It is only 4 countries where Baking and cooking is the most common activity: the UK, Australia, the Netherlands and Finland.

It’s personal.

Crafting a personal gift item has multiple benefits. First the uniqueness factor can’t be denied, but the main motivational factors for the gifter varies—do people prefer creating because it makes it more personal, to save money, or both?

Main benefits of crafting Christmas gifts.

Making something personal is the most important reason people cited for crafting holiday gifts in all countries. It is especially important in Norway, as 9 out of 10 people are doing it for that reason, while only 1 out of 3 do it to save money. And given that knitting is the most popular category, it’s easy to understand wanting to keep your loved ones warm—in unique designs—during the winter months.

3 out of 4

75% are crafting their own gifts to make them more personal, on a global average. It is more than twice as common to do it for that reason compared to saving money. The share of people doing it for that reason is the highest in Norway, 87%, and the share that does it to save money is the highest in the US and Australia, 59%.

Frugality becomes less prominent with age.

The younger a person is, the more likely they are to see making a gift as a way to save some money while also ensuring they give something unique. As people get older the more important uniqueness becomes.

8 out of 10

81% of Baby boomers are making Christmas gifts on their own for the purpose of making it more personal, on a global average. This is a driving force that is clearly becoming more important with age. Only 28% of Baby Boomers are doing it to save money, compared with 47% of Gen Z’ers.

That’s it for now!

Want to know more? Check out Klarna’s Festive Feels Report which takes a closer look at how identity impacts how we celebrate the holidays!