a person flicking through a tablet looking at a christmas tree and red and green silhouettes of people

To have a safe holiday season, more people are leaning into digital celebrations.
Kacy Burdette

Headshot of Nicole Ortiz

By Nicole Ortiz

20 mins ago

Not only are shopping trends changing this holiday season, but consumers are also reimagining how they celebrate the holidays entirely.

Ad management company CafeMedia surveyed 500 U.S. women ages 18-54 about their holiday plans. A majority said they think celebrating is important and will provide an escape in a difficult year. More than 80% of those polled are leaning into traditions this year, too, and 69% plan to try and establish new traditions.

Almost half are unsure how to celebrate the holidays, 32% are opting for in-person gatherings and 23% are doing a mix of in-person and virtual gatherings. However, most are not planning to travel far. Almost half are only traveling by car, 43% aren’t traveling at all and less than 10% are traveling by plane.

“The way we celebrate the holidays will be different this year,” said Rachel Parkin, evp of sales at CafeMedia. “That means consumers are searching for new ideas, creating new traditions and are more open to new brands. Marketers who tailor their messages have a chance to become part of future traditions.”

And, unsurprisingly, people are opting for online over in-person shopping, with only 15% of those polled expected to shop in-store. Consumers are also relying on digital tools to help them plan meals, with 70% finding recipes online, and holding virtual meals with loved ones they’re unable to see in person.

“Our research shows that the shift to digital will be permanent for many people, and not just for the holidays,” Parkin said. “Advertisers who can align with the place of discovery or decision will be one step ahead in reaching the right consumers and making it simple for them to take care of their shopping online.”