A Data Driven Winter Holiday

Christmas Laptop Cartoon

As 2021 draws to an end, this is another unconventional winter holiday season in the midst of a global pandemic. Things have changed but that doesn’t stop the holidays from being celebrated with friends and family. The following statistics demonstrate just how things have changed and the ways people are celebrating this year. 

Shopping

Despite people being limited to shopping online with store closures and the loss of consumer spending power due to economic hardships, people still spent a significant amount. These spending patterns don’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon as consumers slowly shift towards the convenience of online shopping and spending more and more each year. 

  • Retail holidays sales grew by 8.3% compared to 2019
  • Total holiday retail sales in 2020 reached $789.4 billion
  • Online and other non-store sales account for almost a quarter of those sales with $209 billion

Communications

With COVID-19 placing travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines, we rely on technology and social media in order to stay connected. Communication has started changing. There has been a sharp increase in utilizing technology, especially smartphone apps. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with those close to us. These give us a variety of options for almost anyone to participate and even introduce them to new methods of communication, especially for older generations. 

  • Phone calls are preferred the most over a text message, Facebook messaging, or a video/Skype call in that particular order
  • 27% of adults would rather connect with some family members virtually only versus 72% and 1% being unsure
  • Social media usage has surged almost 30%-50% on all major platforms, most popularly on TikTok

Activities

People had to get creative in order to prioritize safety and fun at the same time. Last year, a variety of online activities became popularized and they’re coming back to stay this year as well. This didn’t stop family loved traditions from coming to a complete stop though as they shifted towards online or virtual substitutes. Outdoor activities also took priority as people showed more interest in local open-air markets, ice skating, or holiday lights drives and walks. Either way, these helped keep the festivities going all month long.

  • Traditional festive activities are still on, but going outdoors (1m mentions) or taking them online (175k mentions) have risen in popularity 
  • People are trying new things such as virtual Santa visits, movie marathons at home, online games, or even reindeer cams
  • Holiday-related searches on Pinterest jumped 77% YOY in April as users want to feel more festive with ideas for activities, decor, recipes, gifts, etc.

 

Numbers have shown us interesting trends and changes that are all part of a continuously developing world. This highlights the speed of which technology and data are becoming integrated into our lives. As we celebrate our winter holidays through another year in a global pandemic, it appears certain things are here to stay. We find ways to stay connected with each other and keep family and friends closer to us.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!