While consumers are returning to their in-store shopping routines, according to a recent Mastercard survey*, 56 percent of shoppers have continued to prioritize online shopping this holiday season, citing waiting in lines (72 percent), finding parking (65 percent) and items being out of stock (47 percent) as primary reasons.

Survey data also showed that when selecting gifts this holiday season, nearly half of respondents said they were more likely to give gift cards this year (48 percent) and two-thirds said are focused on charitable and cause-related giving (69 percent).

Additional insights from the Mastercard survey include:

  • Two-thirds (63 percent) of shoppers said they are more likely to buy their loved ones a gift card/prepaid card rather than a physical or experiential gift this year, and 41 percent said gift cards are the top item on their own wish lists;
  • Gift cards are the most popular gift for parents/grandparents (21 percent), siblings, other relatives, and best friends (all at 23 percent), coworkers (16 percent) and clients (12 percent);
  • Twenty percent of shoppers would like a gift that gives back to a good cause this year more so than in the past. Millennials are more likely to prioritize giving back with 27 percent saying gifts that give back to a good cause are higher on their wish list, representing a significantly higher share than Gen X (15 percent) and Boomers (18 percent); and
  • Top charitable causes shoppers are most interested in supporting include wildlife conservation (37 percent) and environmental protection, including parks and nature centers, health, including patient and family support, food banks, and social services (all at 30 percent).

“Gift cards are a clear winner this season. People’s propensity to engage digitally and support causes they’re passionate about is changed for good,” noted Cheryl Guerin, executive vice president, North America Marketing and Communications, Mastercard. “Online shopping is not only providing consumers with convenience but also an immediate way to give with meaning this season.”

*The survey was conducted with 4,000 respondents representative of populations across the U.S. and Canada. All respondents were 18-plus years of age, use a credit card and were likely to shop during the 2021 holiday season. The research was conducted between November 23 and December 1, 2021.

Photo courtesy QSR