Secret Shopping During the Workday, Self-Loathing for Self-Gifting, Side Hustling and More: Sitecore 2022 U.S. Holiday Report Exposes the Reality of Holiday Shopping

  • One in four (22%) Americans will spend less on gifts this holiday season
  • One in five will sell possessions (15%) or take on more hours at work (17%) to afford holiday shopping this year
  • 62% of workers admit to holiday shopping during the workday; 36% use a secret browser to do so
  • Half (49%) make purchases to distract themselves or feel better about what’s happening in the world; yet, two in five (36%) hide gifts they bought for themselves because they’re ashamed of self-shopping

San Francisco, October 04, 2022 – While half of Americans (53%) will spend the same amount this year as last year, many U.S. shoppers say they’ll cut back spending this holiday season. To afford gifts this season, shoppers are getting creative and younger shoppers are even giving up things they can live without – like Netflix (30% Gen Z; 21% Millennials) or eating out (40% Gen Z; 42% Millennials). In fact, one in five shoppers will sell possessions (15%), regift a present (17%) or take on another job or more hours at work (17%) to afford holiday shopping this year.

That's according to the 2022 U.S. Holiday Report  released today from Sitecore®, a global leader in end-to-end digital experience software.

Beyond stretching budgeting and regifting, shoppers are willing to “put in the work” while at work to find the best deals. Nearly two in three (62%) admit to holiday shopping during their workday and one in three (36%) have used a secret Internet browser to avoid being detected. In addition to diversifying advertising patterns to accommodate workday shoppers, rapid segmentation is another great opportunity for brands to promote real-time personalization. When brands aren’t resonating with consumers or immediately meeting their needs, shoppers will spend up to half a workday finding the best deals with one in five (16%) researching for more than four hours before making final purchases.

“Faced with economic pressures from inflation, consumers will do more to spend less this holiday season. Shoppers are deeply informed and looking for the best deals and online shopping experiences that brands can offer. When they do spend, they want to make sure it counts and want to shop with brands that understand their needs,” said Paige O'Neill, Sitecore CMO. “This season, shoppers will seek out brands that offer competitive pricing, buy-now-pay-later options and low-cost shipping. Brands that empathize with consumers’ inflation-forced financial constraints and focus on meeting their needs by delivering content that focuses on value and shows authentic empathy — where they can — will come out ahead this holiday season.”

Additional findings from the report include:

  • Treating yourself has consequences (and consumers feel the shame): While many stay focused on buying for others, one in three (30%) will treat themselves with an expensive or luxury item during the holiday. Nearly half (49%) say they make purchases to distract themselves or feel better about what’s happening in the world; but instead, these purchases leave them feeling guilty. Nearly two in five (36%) self-shoppers admit to hiding a gift they bought because they felt ashamed of shopping for themselves.
  • Online shopping is king: Despite eased restrictions on in-person shopping, just one in four (22%) plan to shop in-store. Instead, consumers prefer to shop online mostly because of convenience and the lure of a good deal. And if prices are competitive, shoppers say they will prioritize “mindful shopping” by purchasing American-made products (71%), shopping with small businesses (74%) and Black- or minority-owned businesses (57%).
  • Shipping can make or break holiday purchases: While buy-one-get-one offers and sales are a great way to drive online purchasing, nearly half of all shoppers (45%) say free shipping is the most enticing discount. In fact, one in three strongly agree they won’t purchase an item that doesn’t come with free shipping (32%) or will buy more items to meet free shipping requirements (35%). Any content delivered by brands to entice customers should focus on this value-added option and build from there to cut through the digital noise if they want to see strong conversions.

For more information about the Sitecore 2022 U.S. Holiday report, visit or attend Sitecore® Symposium from Oct. 17 to 20, one of the largest gatherings of global marketers dissecting today’s latest marketing trends and strategies.

About Sitecore

Sitecore is a global leader of end-to-end digital experience software. Unifying data, content, commerce, and experiences, our SaaS-enabled, composable platform empowers brands like L’Oréal, Microsoft, and United Airlines to deliver unforgettable interactions across every touchpoint. Our solution provides the cutting-edge tools brands need to build stronger connections with customers, while creating content efficiencies to stand out as transformation and innovation leaders. Experience more at

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