Online shopping

Mastercard: Holiday Shopping Survey Shows Consumers Prefer Online Shopping and Gift Cards

As consumers return to in-store shopping habits, according to a recent Mastercard* survey, 56% of shoppers continued to prioritize shopping online this holiday season, citing lineups (72%), looking for parking (65%) and out of stock items (47 percent) as the main reasons.

Survey data also showed that when selecting gifts this holiday season, nearly half of respondents said they were more likely to give gift cards this year (48%) and two-thirds said they focus on charitable and cause-related giving (69%).

Additional information from the Mastercard survey includes:

  • Two-thirds (63%) of shoppers said they were more likely to buy loved ones a gift card/prepaid card rather than a physical or experiential gift this year, and 41% said gift cards gifts were the first item on their own wish list. ;
  • Gift cards are the most popular gift for parents/grandparents (21%), siblings, other family members and best friends (all at 23%), colleagues (16%) and customers (12%);
  • Twenty percent of shoppers would like a gift that gives back to a good cause more this year than in the past. Millennials are more likely to prioritize giving, with 27% saying gifts that go to a good cause are higher on their wish list, a significantly higher share than millennials. X (15%) and baby boomers (18%). and
  • The top charitable causes that shoppers are most interested in supporting are wildlife conservation (37%) and environmental protection, including parks and nature centers, health, including support for and family, food banks and social services (all 30%).

“Gift cards are a clear winner this season. People’s propensity to engage digitally and support causes they are passionate about is changed for good,” noted Cheryl Guerin, Executive Vice President, North America Marketing and Communications, Mastercard. “Online shopping not only provides consumers with convenience, but also an immediate way to make sense this season.”


*The survey was conducted with 4,000 respondents representative of the populations of the United States and Canada. All respondents were 18 or older, used a credit card, and were likely to shop during the 2021 holiday season. The research was conducted between November 23 and December 1, 2021.

Photo courtesy QSR