Retail

Fashion retailers that push gift cards and discounts will win big this holiday season, a Morning Consult report revealed

39% of consumers plan to buy or gift apparel, a category moderately impacted by inflation, up from 35% in 2021.
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ICYMI, the holidays are approaching fast, as is holiday shopping that will determine seasonal consumer trends at the moment. Morning Consult’s latest holiday report highlights a number of these trends including the popularity of buy now, pay later as inflation-hit consumers will turn to the payment method for financing their shopping across various categories.

And although cash-strapped shoppers may make trade-offs when it comes to categories like alcohol and party decorations, they remain determined to uphold the holiday-gifting spirit. Only this time, they’ll be seeking gift cards and discounts in hordes.

Fashion retailers are bound to benefit from the gifting trend, as clothing placed second on the list of choices that included jewelry and money, in a survey of 2,200 US shoppers.

  • Per Morning Consult’s data, 39% of consumers plan to buy or gift apparel, a category moderately impacted by inflation, up from 35% in 2021, with a plurality spending $100–$199.
  • The data also revealed that younger shoppers are more likely to shop on Black Friday:  “60% of shoppers ages 18–34 plan to shop the sale holiday, compared with just 30% of those ages 65 and older who said the same,” the report read.

Fashion brands that want to optimize their customers’ penchant for gifting apparel should also look to push gift cards, which ranked as the top gifting choice, surpassing others like toys, books, and alcohol in the report.

  • In fact, 56% of customers this year plan to give gift cards.

Nice save: “That gift card number is up seven points year over year, and apparel is also up four points year over year, which is a significant difference statistically,” Claire Tassin, retail and e-commerce analyst at Morning Consult, told Retail Brew, adding that gift cards are popular this year since they make sticking to a budget easier.

“If you always give somebody a $50 gift card, you can keep giving them $50,” she said. “That money doesn’t change your budget. [It] doesn’t have to fluctuate with inflation for that.”

Speaking of sticking to a budget, Tassin said that fashion retailers that provide “aggressive promotions” are also likely to win big among shoppers. Go figure.

“For actual fashion apparel, people will definitely be more discount sensitive this year as opposed to previous years,” she said, adding that consumers will be looking to grab these discounted products early, preferably before the holidays, meaning it’s imperative for retailers to maintain that “in stock” status. “If it’s in stock, and it’s on sale, it’ll move.”—JS

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