Pitney Bowes Survey: Amid Supply Chain Warnings and Early Retail Promotions, 42% of US Consumers Have Started Holiday Shopping

Majority of Gen X and Millennial Shoppers Plan to Finish Online Shopping by Black Friday/Cyber Monday; Procrastinators May Be Disappointed by Inventory
Consumers plan to do more than half of this year’s holiday shopping online

STAMFORD, Conn.--()--Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI), a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services, today released new results from its weekly BOXpoll® consumer survey, indicating that US consumers are beginning to act on warnings of retailers, shippers and supply chain managers to shop early for the holidays and avoid being caught empty-handed when inventories of coveted items run out.

BOXPoll consumer survey holiday shopping results (Graphic: Business Wire)

BOXpoll found that between mid-September and early October, the number of respondents who started holiday shopping jumped from just one-in-four to 42%. In total, Americans have checked off 14% of the items on their holiday shopping lists.

Early holiday promotions from large retailers including Amazon, Walmart and Target represent an effort to pull purchases forward and spread the anticipated high demand for holiday gifts over a longer period of time to ease pressure on the supply chain. Consumers are starting to respond.

“While many of the largest retailers have announced holiday promotions starting earlier than ever, large retailers are also in the best position to address inventory and manufacturing supply chain issues,” said Gregg Zegras, EVP and President, Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes. “We are advising our mid-sized and smaller ecommerce clients to pull demand earlier by communicating with consumers more urgently and more often ahead of this holiday season.”

Zegras said the industry would know in the coming weeks if the proactive communications and early promotions are having the desired impact, but so far, consumers appear to be receptive.

Pitney Bowes asked consumers how much of their holiday shopping they’ve already finished—and when they expect to be done.

  • Among the 42% of Americans who have started shopping for the holidays, the average consumer has already completed more than a third (38%) of their holiday purchases.
  • In all, Americans have completed 14% of the holiday purchases they plan to make.
  • Sixty percent of respondents with children have started their holiday shopping, and two-thirds (66%) of respondents with no children have not started.
  • Gen X and Millennials are the most likely to pull purchases forward:
    • 43% of Millennials plan to finish online shopping by the week of Black Friday, and another 14% during the week of Cyber Monday. 
    • 42% of Gen X plans to finish their online holiday shopping by the week of Black Friday, and another 10% during the week of Cyber Monday
    • By comparison, only 36% of adults overall plan to finish their online holiday shopping by the week of Black Friday


BOXpoll also found that, irrespective of when consumers plan to start their holiday shopping, they plan to do most of it (53%) online.

BOXpoll® by Pitney Bowes is a weekly consumer survey on current events, culture and ecommerce logistics. Morning Consult conducts weekly polls on behalf of Pitney Bowes among a national sample of more than 2,000 online shoppers. The results included in this press release are extracted from surveys conducted over the past month. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, educational attainment, gender, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of +/- 2 percentage points. Visit pitneybowes.com/boxpoll for the latest BOXpoll findings.

About Pitney Bowes
Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) is a global shipping and mailing company that provides technology, logistics, and financial services to more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500. Small business, retail, enterprise, and government clients around the world rely on Pitney Bowes to remove the complexity of sending mail and parcels. For additional information, visit Pitney Bowes at www.pitneybowes.com.


Brett Cody, Pitney Bowes, (203) 218 1187, brett.cody@pb.com