With two major shopping days approaching—Black Friday and Cyber Monday—U.S. retailers are gearing up for the crucial holiday season, which, for some companies, constitutes up to 50% of annual revenue. However, our recent research suggests that economic uncertainties and recent inflation may temper customers’ holiday spending enthusiasm. As marketing professors, understanding that consumer spending fuels the U.S. economy, we conducted a survey for the second consecutive year, polling over 500 Americans about their holiday shopping intentions. The findings indicate that consumers harbor conflicting sentiments—they are eager for deals and anticipate indulging themselves, yet they feel the pinch of elevated prices.
Cautiously optimistic at the season’s outset… Regarding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two-thirds of respondents believe that deals will either match or surpass last year’s offerings—an increase from the 56% reported in 2022. This aligns with forecasts from market research firm Adobe Analytics, anticipating record discounts this year. Shoppers also express a willingness to indulge a bit during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The proportion intending to prioritize shopping for necessities has slightly decreased since 2022, while those planning to purchase luxury items have seen a modest rise. Meanwhile, intentions to spend on significant purchases have remained steady at 15%.