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Consumer Insights: Your Go-To Guide for Holiday Shopping

Oct 05, 2023

A family shopping happily in a store for the holiday season.

The busiest and most wonderful time of the year is upon us, and it's time to start thinking about your holiday shopping strategy. Budgeting and cautious spending are still top of mind for most consumers this year, and many will be getting an earlier head start on their shopping to take advantage of sales and deals. 

However, it’s easy to get too caught up in great deals and pick up a gift for yourself while you’re shopping for others. Or maybe you’ve waited all year for the item you want to be on sale, but it still may be out of reach from what you were wanting to spend. But what if there was a way to keep your holiday budget in check and get all the items you have your eye on? In this article, we'll guide you through how you can stay within that shop smart, as well as what the latest shopping trends and tips are this holiday season.

Early Holiday Shopping and Preparation

In the last few years, the shift toward early holiday shopping has not only become a trend but also a smart strategy embraced by both retailers and consumers. And the needle seems to keep moving — last year, 21%(1) of holiday shoppers had their shopping done as early as mid-October. This shift in timing is not just about beating the holiday rush; it's a strategic move to ease the financial burden that often accompanies the expensive festive season.

Fortunately, getting ahead of the holiday rush can be easy with the right prepping and planning. In fact, with early holiday shopping becoming the new norm, it's crucial to plan ahead before you start making purchases — this way you can give yourself the gift of time and options. This also gives you the advantage of spreading out your expenses over several months and to take full advantage of retailers’ early promotions, discounts and special offers. So you can snag those perfect gifts without the stress of last-minute shopping or the risk of missing out on great deals. 

Another road map to a successful shopping experience: Your holiday shopping list. Make sure to include everyone on your gifts list, from family and friends, coworkers and even pets. Then prioritize your list and allocate a budget for each person to stay on track. Once you have a set list of everything you plan to shop for, be sure to thoroughly research the best deals. In 2022, 36% (2) of customers spent more time researching products and offers than in 2021. And as budgets get tighter, more shopping options become available and more information to compare products comes to light, this consumer self-education trend is expected to continue.

Cautious Spending and Discounts

For as much as consumers will likely plan and for as many sales as there will be during the holiday season, ironically consumers are also expected to cut back on holiday spending this year. Savings will be top of mind; the economic uncertainties this year with inflation, student loans and high credit card debt make discounts and deals more important than ever. 

However, we have good news: Gaining shopping power this season won't be impossible if you use Acima Leasing. You can take advantage of those doorbuster deals while shopping for items in a more manageable way. When you choose a lease-to-own option*, you can create that shopping list and hit those sales knowing your wallet won’t take a huge hit thanks to the ability to make lease payments.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shopping

Consumers on the bargain hunt will be keeping an eye out for the traditional saving trifecta of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holiday shopping sales to take advantage of what are likely the best offers of the year. Lots of consumers usually wait to purchase big-ticket items that they’ve had their eye on or have been saving up to purchase until these deals pop up. During the shopping frenzy, however, it’s easy to shop on impluse and choose the first sale item you see — so be sure to do your research as you shop for big items like furniture, appliances or electronics. Explore thoroughly on multiple retailers’ stores and sites (like the ones that offer Acima Leasing) to determine which items are not only your favorite, but are available for how you’re looking to shop this holiday season.

Generative AI Impacts

AI is gaining ground in almost every aspect of our current culture — and shopping is no different. In fact, Generative AI is expected to have a massive impact on how customers shop this holiday season. As consumers get more comfortable with AI, they’ll find there are so many ways to use it for shopping including: 

  • Seeking out purchase inspiration and strategy ideas

  • Researching products and receiving recommendations

  • Offering AI-driven price comparison tools, ensuring shoppers get the best deals by analyzing prices across various retailers

  • Utilizing AI for budget-friendly gift ideas and personalized DIY gifts 

Stress-Free Holiday Shopping Is Possible

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with it comes the excitement of giving and receiving gifts, spending quality time with loved ones and creating lasting memories. However, it's no secret that the holidays can also bring about a fair amount of stress, especially when it comes to managing your budget while shopping for your loved ones. That's why early holiday shopping and smart spending strategies are more essential than ever.

Remember that careful planning, responsible spending and the utilization of technology can all contribute to a joyful and financially prudent celebration. So, embrace the holiday spirit, but do so with a well-thought-out shopping strategy in mind. Learn more about how Acima Leasing can help you reach your goals and shop our lease-to-own solution* at one of your favorite stores.

SOURCES: 1. Wang, Elizabeth. "Engage shoppers throughout holiday peaks." Think with Google, March, 2023, 2. Stubenvoll, Erik. "17 Holiday Shopping Trends to Consider (2023)." KORTX, September, 12, 2023,