The past decade has seen a massive shift in how consumers shop, as vice president and leader of Deloitte’s retail practice, Rod Sides, told NBC News. This is primarily due to spending trends moving from in-store to online. In fact, Cyber Monday saw an even more significant number of sales than Black Friday in recent years (per Life Wire). This may be largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is a substantial reason why Americans are shopping sooner than ever this year.
“We all went through the pandemic. We all went through the great toilet paper storage,” Sides told NBC. “Consumers are now much more aware of supply chains.” Because of this, shoppers are starting to stock-pile gifts. According to a survey published by Oracle Retail, about 20% of Americans said they plan on ordering more gifts than intended just in case some are delayed or canceled because of the all-too-common global shipping setbacks.
The recent increase in flexible remote work may also be a factor in why holiday shopping is starting earlier this year. According to Forbes, online store traffic may increase during the weekdays, as consumers are online at home more frequently, getting ahead of their shopping and avoiding the dreaded long lines. This is not to say you should shop while you work, as staying productive while working from home is super important, but browsing your favorite online stores during your lunch break is always an entertaining way to decompress (and save you time and money).