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September 14, 2022

Samba TV and HarrisX Release First Consumer Survey of the Holiday Shopping Season Showing Consumers are Concerned About Turbulent Economic Outlook But Not Planning To Reduce Spending


Consumers Are Shopping Earlier; Desire for a Return to Normalcy Fueling Double Digit In-Store Shopping Growth; 1 in 2 Consumers Now Cord-Cutters / Cord-Nevers

SAN FRANCISCO, California – September 14, 2022 – Samba TV today announced key findings from its 2022 Holiday Report conducted in tandem with global research firm HarrisX. The survey of more than 2,500 U.S. adults who plan to shop for the holidays offers the first consumer-focused research of the holiday season detailing insights into shifting shopping preferences and significant challenges for advertisers seeking to engage shoppers this holiday season. 

“Consumers are in the midst of a multi-year evolution transforming both how they shop and how they consume content,” said Samba TV Co-Founder & CEO Ashwin Navin. “Mix in a complex economic outlook and the most fragmented consumer engagement landscape in history, and we are on par to see one of the most unique holiday shopping seasons in recent memory. With Americans continuing to embrace a ‘return to normalcy’, retailers will see trends like a return to in-person shopping emerge fueling the holiday season with overall spending behaviors on par with previous years,” Navin said.

Key findings from Samba TV’s 2022 Holiday Report:

Mixed Economic Outlook Creating Uncertainty, But Not Yet Dampening Consumer Holiday Spending

  • 3 in 4 U.S. adults (74%) plan to spend the same or more money this year on holiday shopping as they did last year. 
  • The average adult plans to spend $1,041 this holiday season.
  • 83% of millennials plan to spend the same or more money this year on holiday shopping.
  • However, due to inflation and the rising price of goods, almost half of consumers (47%) say they might actually pair down holiday shopping and purchase fewer gifts. 

Dritan Nesho, CEO of HarrisX, added, “Take note of younger consumers this holiday season. Gen Zers are planning to splurge on their significant others spending more than $100 more than the typical U.S. adult. Gen Zers are also planning to lean into electronics in a big way, leading in smartphone, tablet and PC purchases.”

“Return to Normalcy” Fuels Return to Retail and Earlier Shopping 

  • 31% of U.S. adults plan to do most or all of their shopping in-store this holiday season – a significant increase from years past. More than 1 in 4 (28%) plan to increase in-store shopping this year compared to last year. 
  • Just 24% now plan to do all or most of their shopping online. This is a shift from the past few years where COVID-19 concerns fueled a strong shift away from in-story to online.
  • In-store shoppers are planning to spend more than online shoppers, with the average person planning to do the majority of their holiday shopping in-store  expecting to spend $1,286 this holiday season and the average majority online shopper planning to spend $853.
  • 1 in 5 adults (21%) reported starting their holiday shopping before Labor Day. Parents are leading the early shopping charge with 1 in 4 (25%) starting before September.

“Consumers are balancing economic concerns with a deep desire for a return to normalcy this holiday season. Because nothing signals a return to holiday norms for many better than grabbing a pumpkin spice latte while shopping the gift aisles of the local mall this year, we expect to see a measurable increase of in-store purchasing compared to last year,” continued Samba TV’s Navin.

Fragmented Media Landscape More Complex Than Ever for Marketers to Navigate

  • The 2022 Holiday Report finds that less than half of U.S. adults have a traditional linear TV subscription (48%). With more than half of all consumers now totally unreachable by traditional television campaigns, advertisers will need to lean into new methods to reach a majority of holiday shoppers this year. 
  • The shift to streaming has become nearly universal with new technologies such as voice assistants and direct from TV purchasing emerging as trends to watch this year, particularly among younger generations. 21% of millennials reported making purchases directly through their TV and 1 in 3 (34%) have clicked a QR code from a TV commercial to make a purchase.
  • More than 1 in 3 (38%) of U.S. adults report shopping online while watching streaming content, highlighting the need for smart cross screen connected campaigns to reach consumers across every screen. Moms are the ultimate multitaskers recording the highest online shop while streaming numbers (43%).

Navin concluded, “Brands and advertisers are navigating the most fragmented consumer landscape we have ever seen. Half of U.S. adults report that they no longer have access to a linear television subscription. These shoppers are poised to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on holiday gifts and yet will be completely unreachable by any traditional TV campaign but can be highly-engaged through other means. The shift to streaming has become ubiquitous across every age group with new technologies such as voice assistants and direct from TV purchasing emerging as trends to watch this year and into the future.”

Survey Methodology: 

This survey was conducted online within the United States from August 29-September 1 among 2,505 adults by HarrisX (including 782 Millennials, 202 Gen Z, and 1,645 adults who are parents). The sampling margin of error of this poll is plus or minus 2.0 percentage points. The results reflect a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults. Results were weighted for age by gender, region, race/ethnicity, and income where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population.

Read and download the full report here.

About Samba TV

 Samba TV has transformed the TV from a pane of glass on the wall to a window into the heart of audiences. We are the global leader in television technology powering real-time insights and audience targeting to enable unparalleled marketing efficiency and effectiveness. Our proprietary first-party data from tens of millions of opted-in televisions, across more than 20 TV brands sold in over 100 countries, provides advertisers and media companies a unified view of the entire consumer journey. Our independent currency-grade measurement has future-proofed advertising for the next generation, empowering advertisers to connect with their audiences on any platform, across every screen.

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