38% of US consumers say that guessing what people want is their greatest annoyance when shopping for presents

Indianapolis IN, 2021 — With the festive season now fully underway, over a third (38%) of US shoppers say that guessing what people want for Christmas is their top bugbear during the holidays. That’s according to new research from Emarsys

The research of 2,000 US consumers also shows that 30% say buying gifts that will ultimately be returned is their main frustration, while a further 29% dislike people pretending to like the gifts they’ve bought. This is despite the fact that the majority (80%) of US shoppers enjoy Christmas shopping and a further 81% believe they’re good at choosing presents. 

When looking for Christmas presents, over a third (39%) of American shoppers cite “lack of inspiration” as a reason for not enjoying the experience. A third (31%) also say that a lack of personalized suggestions puts them off certain sites and stores. 

Commenting on the findings, Meghann York, Global Head of Product Marketing at Emarsys, said: “Shopping for Christmas presents should be an enjoyable experience. At the same time, everyone can relate to the frustration of not knowing what to get someone — or worse, guessing and getting it wrong. 

“Luckily for retailers, there is a simple fix for this. Using data and AI insights to inspire shopping lists can help remove some of the uncertainty and guesswork from consumers’ Christmas shopping sprees. Currently however, less than a third of US retailers take advantage of these technologies, despite widespread demand from shoppers for a more personalized experience.

Unlike last year, where people were forced to go online to get their gifts, combined digital and in-person shopping means shoppers have a far wider selection of choice. As such, personalized suggestions based on unique insights can make a huge difference to finding the perfect present and reducing consumer frustrations. This will not only improve the shopping experience for customers, but ultimately bolster retailers’ bottom lines.”

Larissa Wasyliw, VP Ecommerce and Marketing at Ren’s Pets, also shared a comment on the importance of personalization during the holidays:

“We’re so excited to have implemented Emarsys right before the holidays, to be able to use its loyalty, personalization, and email capabilities for our customers at the busiest time of the retail year. As an omnichannel retailer, we know the power a platform like Emarsys has to really elevate our customers experience during our holiday marketing magic. 

“Our loyalty program, Ren’s Rewards, is the engine that drives our business and to be able to use a premium platform like Emarsys to target and segment our customers, for personalized campaigns and recommendations, is amazing for driving incremental sales.

“When it comes to Christmas, most pet parents buy their pets a present, whether they’ve been naughty or nice! It’s a really fun time of the year to spoil their dogs, cats, and other creatures with new toys and tasty treats plus things like a new bed, outfit, collar or leash. A personalized pick is exactly what they’re looking for.”