64% of Last-minute Gift Givers Plan to Buy In-Store

Survey finds most of these shoppers also will order online even if gifts won’t arrive for Christmas.

December 23, 2020

NEW YORK—Seventy-nine percent of shoppers have left their holiday shopping to the last minute and plan to finish buying gifts for loved ones within two weeks of Christmas, according to new research by Klarna. Findings from the survey also revealed that 64% of last-minute shoppers plan to do the last of their Christmas shopping in-store, and that 55% of last-minute shoppers plan to purchase gifts online even if those items won’t be delivered by December 25.

“Klarna’s Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Survey has uncovered many interesting consumer shopping trends for retailers to consider as we count down to the holidays, including that the majority of U.S. shoppers plan to shop in physical retail stores for last-minute gifts this year,” said David Sykes, head of U.S. at Klarna, in a press release. “This is consistent across all age groups, including the digitally-inclined younger generations such as Gen Z and Millennials, and illustrates how valuable the in-store shopping experience is, even in today’s current climate.”

The majority of consumers are last-minute shoppers. Of these eleventh-hour shoppers, 35% will save the last of their holiday shopping for this week. Women (80%) and men (78%) are almost equally likely to be shopping at the last minute this holiday season. Delivery deadlines aren't a deterrent to many online shoppers: 55% of last-minute shoppers will buy gifts online even if they won't be delivered in time for Christmas. Men (64%) are more likely than women (53%) to do this. 

Physical retail is critical. With delivery windows closing fast, 64% of last-minute shoppers across all generations plan to do the last of their Christmas shopping in-store. Broken down by age group, 67% of Gen Zers, 64% of millennials, 63% of Gen Xers, 58% of baby boomers and 57% of silent generation plan to shop in-store at the last minute.

Curbside pickup options are important to some. Twenty-seven percent of last-minute shoppers will only head to physical stores if there are curbside pickup options available.

Gift cards emerge as a top gift among last-minute shoppers. Giving gifts that allow the recipient to choose what they want are hot this year, with 44% of last-minute shoppers saying they’ll be giving gift cards or money to their loved ones this holiday season.