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Big Village Insights Survey Finds 85% of Consumers Will Shop in Physical Stores for Holiday Gifts

November 11, 2020

New Survey Reports on Americans’ Shopping Plans and Feelings About the Holiday Season in the Age of COVID

New York – Nov. 11, 2020 – A recent survey conducted by Big Village Insights, the research and analytics division of Big Village, reports that 85% of consumers plan to shop in physical stores for their holiday gifts. However, they are still expressing concerns about COVID-19. 72% of shoppers plan to go to retail stores during less busy days and times this year to limit their potential exposure to COVID-19.

Amazon is still a popular destination among holiday shoppers. 75% of consumers will shop for their gifts with the online retailer. In addition, 62% of shoppers plan to purchase gifts with online retailers that have a physical store presence, but instead of going in-store, shoppers will have gifts shipped directly to them.

The Big Village Insights Holiday Survey reveals that 54% of Americans are starting their shopping earlier this year due to concerns over products not being available later in the season. Asked when they plan to do most of their holiday shopping, 31% say before Thanksgiving. Americans also plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day (12%), Black Friday (25%) and Thanksgiving Day Weekend (15%). The survey also reports that 21% plan to do most of their shopping on Cyber Monday.

What exactly are Americans shopping for this holiday season? Surprisingly, the top gift of choice is apparel at 46%, followed by toys and games (37%) and electronics (28%). 36% say they are more likely to buy a personalized gift this holiday season. More than anything, the majority (54%) want the recipient of their gift to feel loved versus other emotions such as excited (28%) and surprised (21%). Also, 57% of Americans report they are more determined than usual this year to find the ‘perfect gift’ for family and friends and are more willing to stretch their budgets for holiday gifts (49%).

When it comes to their thoughts on holiday advertising, 85% of Americans would be more likely to welcome ads that do not involve COVID-19 messaging. Only 30% would be much more likely to welcome informative advertising related to COVID-19 messaging. Consumers are more interested in displays of connection and togetherness (87%). Additionally, shoppers are looking to see more advertising focused on children to help inspire gift ideas (43%).

The survey also finds:

  • 85% of Americans agree that our country needs the spirit of the holiday season more than ever
  • 57% agree that the challenges throughout this year are making them feel more emotionally connected to the upcoming holiday season than usual
  • 71% agree that holiday decorations in retail stores help them get into the ‘holiday spirit’

“It’s clear from the findings that Americans are still planning to shop in person for their loved ones this holiday season, even with all the challenges presented by COVID-19,” said Lisa Marie Fortier, SVP, Big Village Insights. “Gifts this year are going to have increased importance as shoppers want to feel connected and loved during a time of continued separation.”


This CARAVAN® survey was conducted by Big Village Insights among a sample of 1,004 adults 18 years of age and older. This survey was live on Oct. 21-23, 2020.


About Big Village

Big Village is a global advertising, technology, and data company. Driven by our diverse group of experts, we provide a new way of working by bringing programmatic solutions, media, insights, and creative all under one roof. Big Village is headquartered in New York and has 12 offices across North America, Europe, and Australia. Find out more at