Insights Intelligence North America

InComm Payments 2020 Holiday Index Finds Consumers Still Plan to Shop Despite Covid-19 [Report]

InComm Payments, a leading global payments technology company, has released the results of its 2020 Holiday Index, which found that consumers still expect to participate in holiday shopping this season, with some adjustments and attention to safety in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on survey responses from 3,120 US consumers, the survey explored consumers’ expectations around holiday shopping.

“It’s a unique year to say the least, but consumers and merchants are adapting, and holiday shopping appears poised to go on, even as traditions like parties and travel are reduced,” said Brian Parlotto, Executive Vice President at InComm Payments. “Consumers continue to value the versatility and convenience of gift card products, and we’re excited to meet growing consumer demand for convenient digital options and safe, secure touch-free payments.”

Holiday shopping perseveres, and consumers are planning their purchases

80% of consumers said they plan to purchase gifts during the 2020 holiday season, with 58% intending to spend about the same amount as they did last year, and 15% expect to spend more.

Consumers are planning almost 95% of their gift card purchases, with 63% expect to complete at least some of their holiday shopping in person. 75% anticipate shopping at 2-5 different merchants in person, approximately the same as in 2019.

Gift cards top lists

Consistent with years past, InComm Payments’ Holiday Index found that gift cards were the most requested gift and most anticipated purchase for gift-givers. 94% of consumers intend to purchase up to 10 gift cards, including physical and digital cards this holiday season, with 30% of respondents anticipate buying more digital and physical gift cards during this year’s holiday season than last year.

The most popular categories for closed-loop (i.e. branded) gift cards are online exclusive retailers, restaurants and omnichannel retailers. These findings are consistent with consumer focus on e-commerce options, while restaurants remain high, indicating shifts to socially distanced dining and takeout options.

Covid safety protocols valued

Consumers are paying attention to in-store experiences and determining whether they meet their safety expectations. The Index also revealed shoppers’ opinions on touch-free payment methods. 84% of consumers have some level of interest in touch-free/contactless payments in light of Covid-19, with nearly half saying they were “highly interested” in such payment options. 74% agree that a retailer offering a touch-free/contactless payment option is important to them.

The InComm Payments 2020 Holiday Index drew on survey responses from 2,489 U.S. consumers regarding their expectations around shopping and other activities during the 2020 holiday season.


  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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