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New Data Reveals Trends for Holiday Shoppers

From an overall outlook to toy spending, self-gifting and more, here are the latest data collections for the 2023 season.

McKenna Morgan

December 12, 2023

3 Min Read
License Global

Multiple data collection agencies and businesses have rounded up the newest data points for the 2023 holiday season. License Global breaks down some of that data below.

Toys for Tots

When it comes to shopping for children, toys are often top-of-list. A report from Numerator focused on the toy market tracks purchase data and surveyed verified buyers to understand shifts in consumer behavior. The report, “How to Win the Toy Holiday Season,” found that among shoppers who plan to purchase toys/games as gifts for Christmas or Hannukah, 81% say they expect to purchase items at mass retailers (e.g., Walmart, Target), 80% at online retailers and 29% at dollar retailers. 60% of toy buyers plan to purchase toys or games during pre-holiday sales. 56% of toy purchasers planned to complete their shopping by the end of November, with 94% finishing by mid-December.

Parents shopping for toys for their children are driven by the “wow” factor (47%), the educational value (45%) and the popularity of the item (37%). Seventy-one percent of parents plan to buy another toy for their child this holiday season, with the top planned purchase categories being building sets (51%), action figures (47%) and board games (46%). Thirty-three percent of parents plan to buy a toy for themselves this holiday season, and 27% of parents bought a toy because it represented a character from a TV show or movie they’ve seen. While 55% of holiday toy buyers plan to spend the same as last year, 15% plan to spend more and 30% plan to spend less.

“Who’s At the Top of My List? Me.”

A Gallup poll found that nearly two-thirds of probable Black Friday/Cyber Monday shoppers (64%) were likely to buy items for themselves or their household on those special sale days, and more than a third (34%) said they were going to stock up on regular household items to use in the coming year. They also found that 86% said they would buy gifts for family or friends, but 64% would buy items for themselves that would not be given as gifts. In 2021, Bankrate found self-gifters made up 57% of shoppers, a 7% increase in just two years.

An Overall Outlook

According to Scholaroo’s latest report, “Christmas Spending Across the U.S. in 2023,” an analysis of American consumer behavior during the holiday season, 92% of consumers plan to celebrate the winter festivities this year, including events such as Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.

The average expenditure per capita on gifts and seasonal items is projected to be $1,211.74 this year. Residents of the states of Mississippi, Maryland and Nevada are anticipated to surpass the national average significantly, with an expected average spending of $2,263.6, marking an 86.8% increase.

As for the more conservative spenders, individuals in the states of Montana, Vermont and Rhode Island have an anticipated average spending that is 56% below the national average.

According to Scholaroo’s report, the top 10 spenders are Mississippi, Maryland, Nevada, Louisiana, Florida, Hawaii, California, Tennessee, Alabama and Texas.

In the U.S., $29.3 billion is expected to be spent on gift cards, with an average value of $49.43 per gift card, and 65.7% of consumers prefer to shop at national retailers rather than local stores.

Follow License Global to keep up with the latest consumer trends.

About the Author(s)

McKenna Morgan

Content Editor, License Global

McKenna Morgan is Content Editor for License Global. Based in the Santa Monica office, McKenna specializes in coverage involving non-profits, beauty and cosmetics, health and wellness, new and social media and entertainment licensing.

When McKenna isn’t covering the latest licensing news, she spends her time attending live music shows and finding her next travel destination.

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