Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past webinars and other events.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

Holiday shopping spending trends shed light on consumer payment preferences

By the numbers: A PYMNTS study of 2,000 US consumers’ Black Friday payment habits could presage the rest of the holiday season.

  • In-store, customers gravitated toward debit cards: 44% of respondents preferred debit, with an additional 8% using contactless debit, per the study. These figures track with longstanding consumer payment preferences but represent growth from pre-pandemic debit use.
  • Online, credit cards were more popular, with 53% of customers preferring them when making ecommerce purchases. Credit cards are typically more popular online, but their share fell from pre-pandemic levels.

Combined, debit and credit trends indicate the pandemic’s impact on consumer payment preferences: Customers are limiting financial risk and avoiding debt when possible.

Key context: This year, customers spent $5.1 billion on Thanksgiving, $8.9 billion on Black Friday, and $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, per Adobe. None of these figures are an increase from last year due to a combination of supply chain hurdles, limited sales, and an earlier start to the holiday shopping season.

Why it matters: The holidays represent significant winnable volume that can accelerate payments providers’ pandemic recoveries. And many customers still have gifts to buy, so there’s still plenty more opportunity: We forecast overall US holiday retail will reach $1.147 trillion this year.

Capturing these dollars is particularly important for credit card issuers. They could risk losing out as in-store shopping mounts a comeback from last year: Customers plan to do more than half (53%) of their shopping in-store, per PYMNTS.

  • Issuers can capture these sales through incentives like Chase’s rotating rewards categories and by promoting digital coupons or pay with points features.
  • They can also help facilitate ecommerce spending through incentives, partnerships, and simple checkout offerings.

Trendspotting: Issuers will also have to contend with two other payment methods that are becoming more popular heading into the holidays.

  • More users are pairing their payment methods with digital wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal—likely because of increasing acceptance online and in-store. For issuers, ensuring simple enrollment could help customers interested in these wallets do so using their cards.
  • Buy now, pay later (BNPL) will continue its meteoric rise this holiday season: Nearly half (45.1%) of users plan to pay with BNPL this holiday season, according to Cardify. These customers, who are likely seeking less risky payment flexibility, may replace some of their card use with BNPL—giving issuers like Amex and Citi that offer installment options impetus to market them heavily this season.