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As holidays approach, retailers should think outside the (gift) box | Sponsored Content

This article was contributed and sponsored by RetailMeNot, A Ziff Media Company.

The holidays bring a fuzzy feeling of cheerfulness to consumer spending habits. Many are willing to splurge and indulge this time of the year. In fact, the National Retail Federation projects 11 to 15% holiday retail spending growth for online and other non-store sales in 2021.

With Black Friday behind us and Cyber Week in full swing, crunch time is near and shoppers are feeling the heat of looming shipping deadlines and inventory that has flown off the shelves. But even though these concerns are top of mind, that won’t stop 74% of American shoppers who say they plan to do some last-minute shopping this season, according to the latest consumer research from Ziff Media Group (ZMG).

Overall, another not-so-normal holiday season is upon us. Here are our top three consumer insights and opportunities for retailers to make sure that no stocking goes unstuffed this season.

Consumers are in their happy place. Shoppers are ready to show their appreciation for the people they love: 71% say that shopping for others right now puts them in a good mood. These feelings and emotions also trigger unplanned impulse buying, which creates an opportunity for many retailers to promote a variety of products by positioning them as an indulgence aligned with the overall seasonal sentiment.

Here are the top three feel good activities for consumers this season:

  • 66% like to spoil close friends and family during the holidays
  • 53% mention they like to treat themselves to nice things during the holidays
  • 50% are more likely to make impulse purchases during the holidays

Concerns shift as shoppers head towards the holidays. While finances and sticking to a budget still fall in the top three concerns for consumers, out-of-stock inventory has now become the leading concern. Most want their items on-time and are not willing to budge much on shipping costs (free shipping is still a deal-maker), however, most do expect shipping delays on their online orders.

A Q4 survey from ZMG reports over half of consumers are anticipating:

  • Delivery/shipping delays (55%)
  • Out-of-stock items (54%)
  • Product shortages (53%)
  • Longer shipping/wait times (50%)
  • More expensive products (42%)

One way to alleviate frustration from shoppers is to offer smart, pulsed promotions on inventory that is in-stock and that retailers wish to move in December. On average, consumers surveyed reported that they feel a 20 to 35% discount is ideal, depending on whether they’re purchasing a large- or small-ticket item.

Consumers will find that it actually pays to procrastinate. With so many brands experiencing inventory shortages and staffing and shipping challenges this year, people will have difficulty getting gifts on time if they don’t get their shopping done before December. However, we know that people will inevitably procrastinate. In fact, 1 in 5 shoppers surveyed said they didn’t plan to start holiday shopping until Black Friday or later.

ZMG Shopping brands—including RetailMeNot and – want to ensure that shoppers who face shipping delays and out-of-stock items find their way back to their happy place and don’t go giftless this season. Retailers and brands can partner with RetailMeNot and other brands to highlight all of the last-minute gift opportunities that exist for holiday shopping laggards during the It Pays To Procrastinate event.

Beginning on “Panic Saturday”—the last Saturday before the Christmas holiday when shoppers typically dash to the stores to purchase last minute-gifts—RetailMeNot, and will feature brands with in-store and buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) offers and deals on digital gifts.

Featured items, including gift cards, subscriptions, travel, and experiences, will be guaranteed to arrive on time, making it easy for shoppers to save on last-minute purchases.

For more information on partnering with Ziff Media Group and its portfolio of brands to find last-minute revenue opportunities, visit