The holidays are a time of giving, family, and fellowship. Each consumer who embarks on the shopping journey wants to impress their loved ones with the effort and thought that goes into their holiday gifts and events. 

It is often a stressful time of year for consumers because they all want everything to be just perfect. Yet, it’s all too common for brands to forget about what these consumers need in order to make their shopping experiences perfect.

So, what do consumers want this holiday season? Together with IMRG, we surveyed consumers to find out. This report brings together data and insights to ensure holiday success for you, your customers, and your business.

The Research

Eight questions were asked to 2,000 UK respondents in order to gauge consumer sentiment ahead of the most important time of the year. We asked customers if they were excited for the period ahead and what concerns they had about the holiday season. After two years of unprecedented change in the world, we were left with one simple question… What exactly is on everyone’s Christmas wish list this year?

A Fun, Happy and Personal Shopping Experience

All over the world, there are people who find shopping, in and of itself, fun and exciting. However, others aren’t as excited about shopping, especially during the holiday season. Here are just some of the concerns:

More than 10% of people are concerned with overspending this year, and nearly 15% are worried about costs if they should have to return items.

According to our data, consumers are catching onto the rhetoric of ‘supply chain shortages’ as their primary worry at end-of-year. More than a fourth are concerned about getting what they want this holiday season. 1 in 5 worry they’ll overspend while 12% worry their gifts will not arrive on time.

This can be achieved by having staff who are genuinely happy to assist customers and are willing to learn from the customer what specifically they seek. It is impossible to personalize every aspect of shopping for every customer, but knowing the trends for the year can make customers feel as though you can uniquely tailor their experience. 

And what could be more fun than having a very personal shopping experience, that feels as though it was made just for you?

Less Expensive Gift Options and Easy Returns

It came as no surprise that people worry about their spending during the holidays. After all, it isn’t just gifts that require purchasing, but also food, decorations, and travel arrangements, and more. 

What can marketers do to address shopper sentiment regarding cost?

First, have gift options that are designed for people on a tighter budget. 

Everyone loves to save money, so concentrating on holiday sales, and making them as incredible as possible, can help shoppers be more comfortable about spending money. 

Also, make your return policy fast and easy, for both shoppers and the gift recipients. Keep return fees low, if not nonexistent, and make the process as painless as possible.

Gift Inspiration

45% of people who participated in this poll said that one big issue they have with holiday shopping is a lack of inspiration for gifts. Shoppers already feel a great deal of pressure to find the “perfect gift” for loved ones, so it is easy to see why a lack of inspiration might put a damper on the joy of the holidays. 

We briefly mentioned making returns easy as a means to alleviate this particular stress. Also, having caring, intuitive employees who can contribute inspired gift ideas for the distressed shopper can make a world of difference to those struggling to enjoy shopping.

Christmas List in a Chestnut Shell

What else do consumers care about? We asked them plainly, ‘Hey, what do you want this Christmas?’ Here’s what they said:

Shoppers are concerned with straight-forward gift recipients, thoughtfulness and sustainability. 

Seasonal shoppers are not thinking of themselves when they enter your shop (whether brick-and-mortar or online). They are thinking of the loved ones they must please this year, and many of them need help in accomplishing their mission. 

Focus on making the overall experience pleasant and fun for your customer, help them find their shopping muse, and take the pain (and extra costs) out of returning items. Give the gift of giving, as well, by taking excellent care of even your most Grinchy consumers.


It is up to businesses and companies to find the answer to this question of “What do consumers wish for this holiday season?” and to accommodate them in their holiday shopping endeavors. 

This post has provided just a few things that shoppers mentioned wishing to find in their shopping ventures this holiday season.

Whether it’s planning for Black Friday, Christmas, or January sales, it’s vital that marketers and retailers are giving customers what they want. Understanding how customers want to shop and the frustrations they feel when doing so is key to this.

Download the full report to see consumers’ holiday concerns, why they don’t enjoy holiday shopping, and how they prefer to shop for the holidays.