Applause Global Survey Finds More Than One Third Of Consumers Plan To Spend Less This Holiday Season, Even As They Return to Retail Stores

Consumer Preferences for Online Shopping Fluctuates While Popularity of Omnichannel Shopping Continues to Climb

Applause, a world leader in testing and digital quality, today announced the 2022 results of its third annual global survey on holiday shopping trends. The research showed a marked increase in consumers returning to physical store locations. Eighty two percent of consumers said they were comfortable shopping in-store, compared to less than half (46%) in 2020 and 69% in 2021. More than one third (35%) of respondents also said they were planning to spend less on holiday shopping this year than in 2021, likely due to volatile economic conditions.

The survey took place in October 2022 with more than 4,750 respondents from across the Americas, EMEA and APAC. Additional key findings include:

Plans for online shopping decrease slightly, but the option continues to reign.

  • Ecommerce exploded at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in 2021, 91% of consumers said they planned to shop online. That number slightly decreased to 87% in 2022.

  • When asked at what point in the online shopping experience they would most likely abandon an online purchase, 29% responded they would abandon the purchase if they encountered bugs at any point of the shopping experience, while 34% said during the checkout process.

There have been significant behavior shifts in the way people shop.

  • Omnichannel shopping options like curbside pick up, BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) and BORIS (buy online, return in-store) continue to gain popularity. Globally, 70% of respondents said they have used BOPIS options for holiday shopping compared to 58% in 2021.

  • Regarding preferred digital shopping methods, 61% said they prefer using a mobile device, 37% prefer desktop or laptop, and 2% prefer to use voice activated smart devices for online shopping. This represents a significant change from 2020 where 53% said they prefer to do their online shopping via laptop or computer with the remaining 47% opting for a smartphone or tablet.

Preferred payment methods vary by region.

  • Globally, credit card (35%) is the preferred payment method, followed by debit card (32%), mobile wallet (16%, increased from 14.2% in 2021), and cash (13%).

  • In the Americas, credit card (56%) payments are more highly preferred than the overall global response.

What matters to online shoppers is changing.

  • Sixty two percent of respondents said that making purchases with a trusted brand is more important to their online shopping experience than price (32%).

  • However, for the first time in 2022, respondents said product reviews were the most important decision-making factor at 34.8% compared to 24% in 2021, and 22% in 2020.

“Retail has become an even more competitive and complex industry as a result of COVID, with shoppers interacting with brands across multiple touchpoints and demanding seamless, unique experiences,” said Luke Damian, chief growth officer with Applause. “The holiday shopping data we’ve collected from the past three years shows how that landscape continues to evolve and how poor user experiences and negative product reviews can impact customers’ decisions to purchase from and remain loyal to a brand. More and more, we see that prioritizing quality and delivering great digital experiences for all shoppers is essential to brand success.”

About Applause

Applause is a world leader in testing and digital quality. Brands today win or lose customers through digital interactions, and Applause delivers authentic feedback on the quality of digital assets and experiences, provided by real users in real-world settings. Our disruptive approach harnesses the power of the Applause platform and leverages the uTest community of more than one million independent digital testers worldwide. Unlike traditional testing methods (including lab-based and offshoring), Applause responds with the speed, scale and flexibility that digital-focused brands require and expect. Applause provides insightful, actionable testing results that can directly inform go/no go release decisions, helping development teams build better and faster, and release with confidence. Digital-first brands rely on Applause as a best practice to deliver the digital experiences their customers love.

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