Last minute shoppers.

The holidays are about coming together and finding time with our nearest and dearest ones. And the festive season is also about gifts—both receiving and giving them.

With less than 2 weeks remaining, have American shoppers completed their shopping list way in advance, or are they scrambling at the last minute to buy holiday gifts?

We asked them to find out.

Methodology.

Klarna’s Last Minute Survey was in the field between December 10 and 12, 2021. The research was conducted in collaboration with research agency Dynata, and more than 1,000 respondents aged 18+ in the US participated in the survey. The sample size is nationally representative, including both Klarna users and non-Klarna users.

1,008 US consumers

18-75 years old

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.

Christmas countdown – Most Americans are not done yet.

Whether shopping for a colleague you barely know or your most beloved friends, the desperate search for a last-minute holiday gift is enough to lessen anyone’s Christmas spirit.

89% of Americans are still shopping.

Nearly all shoppers still have items on their list that need to be crossed off, even as the holiday shopping days are dwindling down. A lucky few say they’re completely done, while 89% of people are still shopping. If you have a Millennial likely to be shopping for you, now’s a good time to send them some clear insights into what you want, they’re the generation with the most remaining items to buy.

89%

still have items to cross off their shopping lists in the days to come.

96%

Millennials have the most remaining items to find, with increasingly little time to navigate stock shortages and potential replacement items.

Americans have 40% of their Christmas shopping left to do.

Much of the shopping is already done—but is the glass half full or half empty, almost half of the items on the average American’s shopping list still are waiting to get crossed off.

60%

of the holiday gift shopping is already done on average—meaning that almost half—40%—remains to be done in the coming few weeks. It is the younger generations in particular who have an increasingly large share of their shopping still needing to be done as Christmas fast approaches.

1 out of 5 people are currently behind where they were at the same time last year. 

Christmas falls on the same day every year, and yet it always seems to appear out of nowhere. How are people getting on with their shopping list compared to last year?

1 out of 3

 are ahead with their holiday shopping compared to last year. This is especially true for men and Millennials (37%).

Gen Zers

this year are the generation who procrastinates the most, falling behind their shopping behavior last year more so than other generations.

Later, skaters.

While some folks knock out their shopping list as soon as autumn ends, many still find themselves rushing to the shops. Here’s the low-down on the main reasons behind last-minute shopping.

Gen Zers

have been more affected by stock shortages (28%) compared to the average US shoppers (20%). They are also more affected by getting a late start compared to their own shopping plans (47%) than others (35%).

39% of Americans plan to spend more this year.

Most shoppers are looking to spend more on their holiday shopping this year compared to last year. And it is especially the younger generations who are looking to expand their shopping list this Christmas.

1 out of 2

Gen Z (53%) will increase their spending this holiday season compared to last year.

Men

 will increase their spending while women will spend roughly the same compared to last year

Last minute shopping.

The few shoppers that are already done with their shopping list may be lucky ones—or the most organized. However, good news for the vast majority of shoppers still shopping is that stores remain open and there are plenty of sources for inspiration to help guide you to the perfect holiday gift.

Last minute shopping lists.

When it comes to holiday shopping, the choice of gifts is wide. Would you rather give a physical product, a pre-owned item or a gift card? Let’s take a look at what are the most popular types of items shopped last minute.

77%

of people are looking to buy new products—while only 12% will consider pre-owned. Gen Z are more than 3 times more likely (17%) to look for pre-owned items as compared to Baby Boomers (5%).

55%

will be buying gift cards instead of specific items. Baby Boomers (58%) are slightly more likely to do so compared to Gen Zers (52%).

Most sought after product categories.

Searching for holiday gifts can be a real hassle for last-minute shoppers. For the procrastinators and the people stuck and unsure what to get, check out what product categories American shoppers decide to spend the most for their ultimate holiday purchases.

Electronics

is the product category where shoppers will spend the most.

2x

as many (22%) women will spend most of their shopping budgets on Children’s products as compared to men (11%).

Big-box retailers and online marketplaces top the lists for last minute shoppers.

With increasingly little time to go, shoppers are turning to the biggest retailers for their remainder of their shopping needs.

7 out of 10

are planning to do the remaining holiday gift shopping at big-box retailers.

1 out of 4

will be looking to buy from small businesses.

Most important factors when shopping online and in-store.

Instant availability or low price points? The most important purchasing factors for online and in-store varies for last minute shoppers.

Price

is the most prominent deciding factor when shopping online for last minute shoppers—but it’s only the same for 24% for those considering in-store.

Delivery speed

is the most important factor for in-store shoppers.

Finding inspiration for last minute gifts.

One of the most challenging parts of holiday shopping is figuring out what to buy for loved ones. And inspiration can (and needs to) come from many sources. 

Friends & family

is the main source of inspiration for US shoppers (52%). This is consistent across generations.

Retail apps

are more often (24%) consulted for shopping inspiration than social media influencers (19%).

Super Saturday.

Super Saturday (also referred to as Panic Saturday), is the last Saturday before Christmas, and signals the end of the shopping season. As one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Super Saturday represents the last opportunity for procrastinators to check items off their gift lists.

Super Saturday—an oasis for last minute shoppers.

As panic sets in ahead of Christmas, American shoppers have one last shopping day to find last-minute shopping gifts. Let’s find out who, across demographics, are most likely  to shop during one of the busiest shopping days.

53%

of Americans are planning to shop on Super Saturday.

Millennials

are the most eager to shop on Super Saturday. About twice as many Millennials (63%) are planning to shop compared to Baby Boomers (34%).

Super Saturday’s store of choice.

Super Saturday represents the very last day before Christmas comes in full force. Are last-minute shoppers rushing to the stores, or finishing off their lists in the comfort of their living room?

Only 1 out of 5

Millennials (22%) will be shopping mostly in-store for Super Saturday—while twice as many (43%) will be shopping mostly online.

Gen Z

is shopping online to an even further extent—45% will be shopping from the comfort of their own homes while 33% will be going in-store.

Stock shortages and emergency solutions.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. What are shoppers supposed to do when the perfect item has been identified, but the shelves are empty?

Stock shortages.

During a time with severe logistic challenges and shortages of raw materials for manufacturers, many shoppers have encountered unpleasant surprises in their hunt for the perfect gift. And it won’t get any better for last minute shoppers in the run-up to Christmas.

81%

of shoppers have encountered issues with stock shortages—only 19% have found all the items they have been looking for so far.

Electronics

is the category with most challenges—1 out of 3 shoppers have experienced stock shortages.

Emergency solutions.

Shoppers experiencing the trials and tribulations of empty aisles have different solutions to product unavailability. The challenge remains the same—is it acceptable to wait until after Christmas, or do you find something else?

Gift cards

are a popular solution—42% of shoppers will opt to leave it up to the receiver to choose a replacement item.

Replacement items

are equally popular—42% will instead be buying a similar product to put under the Christmas tree.

After Christmas sales.

The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but the days following Christmas are the second-most wonderful time for another reason— the after-Christmas sales!

3 in 5 people are still planning to shop after Christmas.

Many retailers offer product deals and discounts from the 26th through the end of the year, which is great news for smart shoppers. Let’s find out who is planning to shop in the After-Christmas sales, and how that compares to last year.

62%

are planning to shop during the after Christmas sales this year, compared to only 49% last year.

7 in 10

Millennials are planning to shop during that period—they are the most likely to do so.

74% of Americans plan to shop after Christmas to make a bargain.

The deals don’t stop after the holidays and savvy shoppers know that after the holidays stores are looking to unload extra inventory and are ready to cut deals.

3 in 4

American shoppers are planning to shop after Christmas-sales in order to make a bargain.

38%

of Gen Zers are still looking to buy Christmas gifts.

Most sought after product categories.

Having enjoyed the magic of the season and the time spent with family and loved ones, Americans are also getting excited by After-Christmas sales, as many brands offer product discounts. Check out the product categories where shoppers are expecting to spend during this year’s After-Christmas sales.

Female

shoppers will mainly buy apparel during the after Christmas sales, compared to only 42% of men.

Male

shoppers will mainly buy electronics during the after Christmas sales, compared to only 41% of women.

Shopping online or in-store.

The choice of shopping channels for the After-Christmas sales varies according to demographics and gender.

Only 16%

of Baby Boomers will mostly shop online, while three times more will go in physical stores.

Gen Z

is the generation planning on shopping online for After Christmas the most sales—47% will be shopping from the comfort of their home, while 20% will go to the shops.

Most important factors when shopping online and in-store.

With a bit of forward-planning, the After-Christmas sales can be a joy for shoppers and a perfect time to score some great deals. Here are US shoppers’ main reasons to shop online and in stores.

Online shopping map.

In this section you will find regular updates on the developments based on shopping data from Klarna. This section will be updated during the rest of December.

The online shopping map.

Click on the tabs below to see where people shop the most online per capita 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.

10 – 26 December 2021

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!