Americans’ Online Delivery Purchasing Habits for the 2022 Holiday Season
Before we can even compost our pumpkins, the holiday season burst onto the scene yet again. Ads for pre-black Friday sales are everywhere. Stores are filling their shelves with lights, baubles, and Christmas decor galore. The online hunt for the perfect gift has officially begun. So where will we turn for a truly Griswold-worthy decking-of-the-halls? Who will play Santa to our family and friends from afar?
Amazon or not?
A majority of Americans plan to purchase a holiday gift for a friend or family member online from a local retailer rather than an online-only retailer like Amazon or Wayfair.
According to Onfleet’s survey, conducted online by The Harris Poll among more than 2,000 U.S. Adults 18+, 64% of Americans plan to purchase a holiday gift for a friend or family member online from a physical retailer and have it delivered to them directly this holiday season.
Amazon attributes its slowing sales this holiday season to a decrease in consumer spending due to inflation, which makes sense. But are some Americans perhaps focused more on brick-and-mortar retailers with an online presence? It certainly seems so within our younger generations.
Gen Z and Millennials shop small and with intention
Of all the demographics tracked in our survey, Gen Z (18-34) and Millennials (35-44) are the most likely to plan on purchasing a holiday gift online from a physical retailer and have it delivered directly to them (75% and 79%, respectively). Both groups are considerably higher compared to their other aged cohorts aged 45+ (54%).
Younger consumers are defined by their preference for shopping small and locally while supporting brands and businesses that align with their values and ethics. This often includes environmental consciousness, as our previous survey found that nearly half of Americans (46%) would be willing to pay higher delivery fees for online purchases if a company has initiatives to offset its carbon footprint.
Sustainable holiday decor with convenient delivery
A small Christmas tree delivery business like NYCTrees.com knows that “thinking globally and acting locally” is essential to its customers. But it also knows that convenient delivery is the bread and butter of its business.
Harold DeLucia, owner of NYC Trees, says, “After I experienced New Yorkers haggling with Christmas tree stalls — overpriced and cluttering city sidewalks — and witnessed a person carrying a tree on a train home, I said, ‘Hey, there’s a market for Christmas tree delivery.’”
NYC Trees uses Onfleet last-mile delivery management software to quickly and efficiently route and deliver thousands of Christmas trees to NYC residents each year Every tree delivered comes with the tree stand, delivery, installation and a tree skirt. Customers can add on a decoration package or decorate their own home with fresh garland and wreaths! NYC Trees even offers a removal service to have the trees mulched for local parks after the holidays.
“So, it’s a one-stop shop. It’s really convenient, like a hassle-free holiday,” says DeLucia. “And with Onfleet and its delivery app, it really changed the game.”
Christmas comfort and joy are still a priority
Even with challenging economic times and health concerns, people still are prioritizing the magic during the holidays. Loyalty to traditional comforts like gifts, gatherings, and decorations give people hope and delight during the winter. Local vendors are eager to provide that experience directly to customers.
DeLuca personally delivered 20 trees to families that placed online orders in his first year of business 10 years ago. One loyal family from that first year has ordered every single year since.
“I remember delivering their first tree, and the kids were in their elf costumes,” says DeLuca, who lives near Westchester, where the family recently moved. “Last year, I delivered their tree, and the kids are in high school now, so you literally grow relationships with people. Every year they rely on you to bring Christmas into their home, so it’s pretty special, you know?”
Safe, convenient access to specialty gift-giving is important to families
Americans, especially those with children, continue to utilize safe conveniences like grocery pick-up and last-mile delivery services made popular during the pandemic. And with uncertainty surrounding COVID, RSV, and the flu in the coming colder months, families may be looking toward specialty gift delivery as an alternative to traditional holiday gatherings.
In fact, 79% of Americans with children under 18 in the household plan to purchase a holiday gift for a friend or family member online from a physical retailer and have it delivered to them this holiday season.
With more small businesses and specialty retailers utilizing last-mile delivery, busy families can still have unique and thoughtful gifts delivered to their loved ones.
Other detailed survey findings
- Gender & age specific: Gen Z and Millennial men (75% and 82%) and Gen Z and Millennial women (75% and 76%) are the most likely to purchase a holiday gift for a friend or family member online from a physical retailer, rather than websites like Amazon or Wayfair– compared to their other aged cohorts aged 45+ (56%).
- Household income specific: Americans with household incomes of $100K+ annually are more likely to purchase a holiday gift for a friend or family member online from a physical retailer and have it delivered directly to them (71%).
- Less than $50K – 58%
- Between $50K - $74.9K – 62%
- Between $75K - $99.9K – 62%
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Onfleet from July 28 - August 1, 2022 among 2,055 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. Survey respondents were given the following yes/no statement: “I plan to purchase a holiday gift for a friend or family member online from a retailer other than an online-only retailer (e.g., Amazon, Wayfair) and have it delivered to them directly this holiday season.”
The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 2.8 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.