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The newly released report reviews how U.S. consumers went about their holiday shopping in 2022. It gives insights retailers can learn from for the upcoming holiday season.

“Smartphones are the go-to holiday shopping device,” according to a report from research firm Forrester.

The report, “A Retailer’s Guide To The 2023 Holiday Season,” reviews how U.S. consumers went about their holiday shopping last year, Forrester said. Based on that, 45% of consumers shopping online are most interested in free shipping, according to the report. This is also in line with Digital Commers 360 consumer insights, which consistently find that free shipping is the most important factor when shopping online, along with the right price. Similarly, Forrester data found that 44% of consumers are most interested in discounts during the holiday season.

The report focuses on how retailers and manufacturers prepare for the 2023 holiday season through:

  • Marketing
  • Customer service
  • Fulfillment
  • Security

Bizrate Insights fielded surveys of U.S. online consumers before, during, and just after the 2022 holiday season. It shared with Forrester for this research. Bizrate Insights collects over 25 million surveys from verified customers for 2,000 retailers each year.

Forrester: Consumers start holiday shopping early

Forrester found that about a quarter of online shoppers began their holiday shopping in October or earlier in 2022. That’s a slight decrease from about 30% in 2021. On the other end, about 20% in 2022 waited until December to begin shopping.


Previous experiences factor in, too, according to data from Bizrate Insights. 69% of online consumers planned to order earlier in the 2022 holiday shopping season because of late deliveries in 2021.

Bizrate Insights found that more than half of U.S. online shoppers (55%) expected to spend the same amount in 2022 as they did in 2021. Meanwhile, 25% said they expected to spend less when it came to gifts, decorations and other holiday-related merchandise.  Those who planned to spend less on holiday shopping in 2022 most often cited “increased expenses/spending on other things,” the report said.

Forrester said this can likely be attributed to factors including rising inflation and the increase in spending during the year as a whole.


Smartphones are the go-to holiday shopping device

Even if consumers aren’t buying everything on mobile, Forrester found they’re starting their holiday shopping there. More than half (58%) of U.S. adults who use their smartphones to shop online regularly use the devices to research products and services before making a purchase, according to data Forrester cited. That’s an increase from 54% in 2021.

Furthermore, Forrester said, 27% of U.S. online shoppers found out about retailer sales and promotions from mobile apps last year. 21% found out through coupons and discount apps. 15% found out from promotional text messages, and 11% from automatically applied promo codes within apps.

“Smartphones play an integral role in every part of the shopping experience, from discovery to purchase and beyond,” Forrester said in the holiday shopping report.


That was particularly the case during the Cyber 5 period, or the five days from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday. In that period, 79% of U.S. online shoppers used their mobile phones to shop online, according to Bizrate Insights data cited in the report. That’s up from 54% in 2016, Forrester said. The following week in 2022, 55% used their mobile phones to shop online.

And many consumers followed through on their mobile holiday shopping last year, Digital Commerce 360 reported.

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