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2017 Holiday Spending Trends Predict One Similarity: Family | Steel Advertising
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2017 Holiday Spending Trends Predict One Similarity: Family

Holiday shopping has always been a topic surrounding family. With generation preferences shaping the way that marketers target various age groups, we look to the numbers to show us what families will really spend this holiday season. PricewaterhouseCoopers 2017 Holiday Outlook shows us what to gift loved ones this year and that consumers across all generations have one thing in common—they plan to spend their holiday budget on family.


Millennials (22-35) look to online travel agents, websites that consolidate a variety of travel options, during the holiday season and will often spend on travel more than any other consumer. This group plans to spend 51% of their holiday budget on family and 35% will start shopping before November. Millennials prefer to do their shopping online and have the highest number of Amazon Prime Memberships (56%) of any age group. They look to Facebook, Amazon and other online hot spots during the holiday season and frequently shop the online sales during Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Generation X

Gen Xers (36-50) are prepared for the holiday rush and often 41% start shopping before November. This group tends to be more brand loyal than other age groups and they prefer the low-risk option of a branded hotel. Gen Xers are not easily influenced by social media or artisanal gifts and will search for a good deal over convenience. This group also spends high on family and plans to spend 61% during the 2017 holiday season. If you’re looking for a gift for a Gen Xer, a gift card may be the ticket, 44% said they want a gift card to a restaurant or branded retailer.

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers (51-70) plan to spend 62% of their holiday budget on family and enjoy both giving and receiving gift cards. Unlike Millennials, almost half of Boomer’s won’t shop on Thanksgiving Day because they’re taking care of family visiting from out of town. This group does more than half (53%) of their shopping in stores and about a third via laptop or desktop (33%). Boomers are not as active on social media but will seek gift inspiration there, Facebook being the dominant source. Free returns are important to Boomers who shop online. This age group is less likely to start shopping before November and when it comes to travel, price is less important than the location of their trip.

Generation Z

Mature Gen Z (17-21) consumers plan to spend 40% on themselves and 36% on family. Typically, this generation is students and nonparents, coming in at the smallest holiday budget of $750. However, they do still spend and 87% most often turn to social media for gift inspiration. This group spoils their pets more than any other group during the holidays and prefers tangible gifts like clothes and electronics to travel and entertainment.

Click here to read the whole PWC 2017 Holiday Outlook and figure out how to strategically reach your target audience before the holiday season is here.