Study: COVID-19 Impacts Consumers’ Thanksgiving Spending

Jacqueline Barba
Associate Editor
Jacqueline Barba profile picture

According to a recent SmartCommerce study, COVID-19 is changing how consumers plan to spend the Thanksgiving holiday. The August survey asked 600 consumers how they plan to spend Thanksgiving this year, and the majority of respondents (36.67%) said they'll be spending it at home without guests, compared to last year when only 21.79% spent it at home alone. Consumers will be traveling less, with 25.5% of consumers stating that they'll be visiting family and friends, compared to 37.18% last year.

How did you spend Thanksgiving Day LAST year?

At home without guests


At home with guests


I will be visiting family or friends


I will be traveling and staying at a hotel/airbnb


How are you planning to spend Thanksgiving Day THIS year?

At home without guests


At home with guests


I will be visiting family or friends


I will be traveling and staying at a hotel/airbnb


Not sure yet because of COVID-19


How consumers plan to spend Thanksgiving isn't the only thing that looks different this year. COVID-19 has had a massive impact on the way consumers buy their groceries, with a surge in online grocery shopping. For many, buying groceries online has become the norm. In fact, our research shows that only 20% of online grocery shoppers will return to brick-and-mortar only buying when the pandemic is over. 56% of consumers said they'll be doing at least some of their Thanksgiving grocery shopping online this year.

How are you going to do grocery shopping for Thanksgiving Day?

I will order everything online


I will order some things online, but I will also go to a grocery store


I will go to a grocery store


At the onset of the pandemic, consumers reported issues with online grocery shopping including delays and difficulty with ordering. In April, 17.24% of consumers stated that their last delivery was delayed, and 60.75% reported that it was easy to make an order. In the August study, only 8.08% of consumers reported a delayed delivery, and nearly 75% said their order was easy.

Think about your last ONLINE grocery order. Which of the following apply?

It was easy to order


Delivery/Pick-up was on-time


Some items I ordered were sold out


Some items I ordered were substituted with something familiar


Delivery was delayed


I had to join a waiting list before I could shop


My order was cancelled


I was unable to schedule a Delivery/Pick-up time




SmartCommerce will continue to monitor consumer trends as we navigate out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit for more information.

SmartCommerce aims to help CPG companies sell more online by replacing old-school “where to buy” with a single click to send products into retailer carts. Built for the unique needs of CPG brands and their consumers, SmartCommerce intelligently eliminates both the friction and PDP cross-selling that has limited the potential for CPG digital purchases, by enabling simple one-click conversions of one or many products from any digital impulse point, into virtually any retailer cart.