Holiday Gift Shoppers Approach the Home Stretch


It seems like an eternity since holiday displays began to pop up in stores in September, and now we’re finally approaching the last shopping days of the holiday gift shopping season. But how much shopping do people have left? Who’s taking gift shopping down to the wire? Where have people shopped, and where do they plan to shop? Have they made lists and checked them twice? Based on receipt data captured by InfoScout’s proprietary mobile apps, we asked approximately 500 holiday shoppers these and other questions during a survey conducted in early December.

How Much Holiday Gift Shopping Is Left?

When asked how far along they are with their shopping, 40% said more than half of their holiday gift shopping was done. 36% had finished about half or less than half of their shopping, while 7% hadn’t even started at the time of the survey.

68% of shoppers who still have work to do plan to purchase their remaining gifts the week before Christmas. A handful admitted that they won’t be finished by Christmas. 18% of survey respondents had already moved on to the wrapping phase because their holiday shopping was completely done. Nearly half wrapped up their shopping (no pun intended) this month, as 31% finished during the first week of December and 15% made their last holiday gift purchase within 24 hours of our survey.


Although Black Friday still represents the kickoff to the holiday shopping season in the minds of many households, 32% of survey respondents started their shopping before Black Friday, attracted by the expanding retail early-deal landscape.

Which Retailers Are Winning, and Which Stand to Benefit from Last-minute Shopping?

More holiday gift shopping is taking place online as 79% of surveyed shoppers have done at least half of their shopping online. Just 48% have done at least half of their shopping in-store.


Drilling down a bit deeper into those numbers, 45% of shoppers have made holiday gift purchases from online-only retailers like Amazon. 36% have purchased gifts in a brick-and-mortar Walmart store, followed by the websites of brick-and-mortar retailers such as, and (29%). Target’s physical stores finished a close fourth at 28%.


Interestingly, online channels could lose their advantage during the final holiday shopping weeks as those who still have shopping to do plan to split their time almost evenly between online and brick-and-mortar stores. 36% say they’ll do more or most of their remaining shopping in-store compared to 34% who are more likely to shop online.

Online-only retailers such as Amazon will still be the top destination (40%), with Target and Walmart running neck and neck at 27% each. The websites of brick-and-mortar retailers (24%) drop to fourth for last-minute shoppers.

As for Those Lists…

In this age of mobile devices and apps, 44% of shoppers use a written list for the majority of their holiday purchases. In fact, 31% rely on a mental list to guide their gift shopping, compared to 19% who make a digital list and 6% who use a retailer’s wish list.

About the Data

The data in this article was sourced from a survey completed by 500 omnichannel shoppers from InfoScout’s consumer purchase panel.

Throughout the 2016 holiday shopping season, InfoScout’s team of researchers will be analyzing real-time data from millions of omnichannel shopping trips. This data is mapped to shopper profile data, instantly triggered surveys and more to provide the richest set of shopper insights available.