Leading global retail bank, payments, and shopping service, Klarna, understands that the holiday shopping season is the busiest and most competitive period for retailers. With this season looking slightly different to years gone by, Klarna and its partners looked at how changing purchase preferences will impact the holiday shopping season and how retailers can adapt.

First and foremost, brands must work hard to create a holiday shopping experience that caters to the way consumers want to shop – in-store or online – along with providing socially distanced collection options like Click & Collect and curbside pick-up. The brand experience must be consistent throughout the shopping journey, regardless of the path a shopper takes, to ensure conversion and loyalty. 

According to a recent whitepaper released by Klarna, The State of Smoooth: 2021 Holiday Spending Season, over 19% of shoppers plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year than last year with younger shoppers leading the way (Gen Z: 29% and Millennials: 31%). 

Close to half (44%) of shoppers plan to shop Black Friday sales this year, particularly true among Gen Z (71%) and Millennial (67%) shoppers. Despite physical retail re-opening in New South Wales and Victoria, almost two-thirds (63%) of shoppers say they will make most purchases online during Black Friday this year.

However, in the lead up to Christmas, 43% of shoppers believe the bulk of their buying will be done in-store this year with 23% saying they will shop just as much in-store as online.

The Klarna whitepaper also found that shoppers are more likely to pay for gifts with debit (54%) over credit (48%) with many (47%) looking for flexible payments like Klarna’s Pay Later solution (Gen Z: 59%, Millennials: 65%, Gen X: 49%, Baby Boomers: 27%).

To advise retailers on how to make the most of the holiday shopping season, Klarna has launched a whitepaper, The Key to a Successful Shopping Season: A Retailer’s Handbook to Post-Pandemic Holiday Shopping, with the following advice from some of its key partners.