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October 28, 2020

Amex Trendex: Global Holiday Season Shopping Plans, Finding Fitness and Dreams of Travel

Amex Trendex: Global Holiday Season Shopping Plans, Finding Fitness and Dreams of Travel

October 28 —According to the Amex Trendex, a trend report from American Express, consumers surveyed in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Japan, Mexico, India and Canada are mapping out their holiday season shopping plans, prioritizing their wellbeing with more time at home, and hoping to turn travel dreams into a 2021 reality.

Almost Half of Consumers Say they’ll Spend More than Last year on Holiday Season Gifts.

Most will Shop Online, Many will Shop Small, and Almost Half will Lean towards ‘Touchless’ Gifting

With many seeking out normalcy in a not-so-normal year, 64% of respondents agree that they think of giving/getting gifts and celebrating as a way to reconnect with life before the pandemic. While many (67%) agree the pandemic has made them more conscious of holiday season spending, 48% still plan on spending more on holiday season gifts this year, compared to last year. How and where they spend their holiday season budget may look different, however. Seventy-five percent of consumers surveyed (81% in the U.S.) agree they are more likely to shop online than in-store this year, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be supporting local businesses. In fact, after a grueling year for small business owners, 63% of respondents said they are more likely (28% of which said much more likely) to shop at small businesses, online or in-store, this holiday season compared to last year.  What’s on people’s gift giving and wish lists? Consumers are very interested in receiving experiences. When it comes to giving, 49% said they are more likely to give touchless gifts like a subscription or e-gift card this year. The gift of a treadmill might be a favorite in 2020 rather than a faux pas with 49% prioritizing giving gifts that are centered around wellbeing, like exercise equipment.

2020: The Year Many Found Fitness & Wellness (while at home) –Forty-two percent of respondents say they have downloaded or streamed digital fitness programs in the last six months. At-home digital fitness is most popular in the U.S. and India, where 30% and 54% of adults surveyed respectively have purchased a subscription to a digital fitness program in the last six months, compared to 20% in Australia, and less than 20% in remaining countries. With so many working out from home and/or having more time for fitness, 70% say they are more likely to care about fitness moving forward, while 68% agreed they have an increased appreciation for it. Some are exploring new or different wellness habits and hobbies, with 56% agreeing that they found a new fitness hobby to stay healthy in the past six months while social distancing. Similarly, many consumers are finding more time for fitness, with 57% of respondents from the U.S., Canada and Mexico agreeing they are likely to use the upcoming extra daylight savings to focus on wellness.

While Most Plan to Spend Holidays at Home, Future Travel is at the Top of Holiday Season Wish Lists

At least 3 in 5 consumers, surveyed across seven countries, plan to stay home for the holiday season this year. In lieu of holiday season travels, consumers are using the time to wish for and dream about future travel, with 58% noting a future 2021 domestic trip is on their holiday season wish list, and 54% noting an international 2021 trip is on their list. However, even if the upcoming holidays don’t fulfill on these wishes, consumers are prepared to save and pay for their future travels themselves, with 67% saying they are saving more money for their next trip as a result of the pandemic. Looking ahead to future travel, while consumers across the seven countries surveyed agree that they are more likely to book a vacation where they can avoid crowds, relax, drive around, or enjoy private accommodations, the type of vacation activities that are most appealing differs by market. Forty-one percent of consumers in Mexico find going to the beach most appealing compared to 24% of all consumers surveyed, and 33% of consumers in Japan find visiting a spa most appealing compared to just 7% of all consumers surveyed.

What is the Amex Trendex?

The Amex Trendex is a trend index that tracks how consumers, small businesses, and merchants are feeling about spending, saving, traveling and more. Data will be sourced on a monthly basis in the U.S. and bimonthly globally, including in the U.K., Australia, Japan, Mexico, India and Canada.

Methodology

***The Morning Consult poll was conducted between September 29-October 9, 2020 among a national sample of 1,000 general population travelers each in Japan, Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US with a household income of at least $70K or country equivalent, and Mexico with a household income of at least $50k or country equivalent, and defined as adults who traveled by air at least once in the past 12 months. The YouGov poll was conducted between October 1-16, 2020 among a national sample of 1,001 general population travelers in India with a household income of at least INR1.8 million, and defined as adults who traveled by air at least once in the past 12 months. Results from each market’s survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.


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