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ANSI shines a spotlight on Standards in action as they support safety, efficiency and well-being in interesting aspects of everyday life.

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Shop ‘Til You Drop: Standards Support Shopping Trends for the 2021 Holiday Season


The holiday gifting season has arrived, and Deloitte’s 2021 Holiday Retail Survey reveals trends that will shape this year’s shopping habits for consumers nationwide. Survey results, gathered from 4,315 consumers and 30 retail executives, indicate that average holiday spending is expected to rise 5% from last year. 73% of retail executives expect shoppers to spend more or significantly more this holiday season, with an emphasis on online shopping and “experience” gifts.

While more consumers feel comfortable shopping in store this year than last year, online shopping will still account for 62% of holiday purchases. Standards support online shopping at every step, from browsing the store’s website, to placing the order, to receiving the package. One American National Standard (ANS) that supports the packaging of online orders is ANSI/PMMI B155.1, Safety Requirements for Packaging and Processing Machinery. This document was developed by the Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute (PMMI), a member and accredited standards developer of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), to guide new, modified, or rebuilt industrial and commercial machinery that performs packaging functions for primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging.

More consumers are seeking experience gifts than last year (when social distancing and public health measures encouraged people to stay home), with an anticipated 15% increase in experience gifts over 2020. They can run the gamut from unique dining to extreme sports. Some memorable experience presents, and the standards that support them, include:

Concerns about supply chain issues persist, with 75% percent of shoppers fearing that their desired items will be out of stock. Gift givers can remedy this by turning to homemade or locally made treasures that wouldn’t be found at the mall anyway. Many standards support crafting and creating, like these two developed by ANSI member and audited designator UL: UL 3002 Ed.1, Recommended Practice for Determining the Depth of Cut On a Test Probe Contacting the Spinning Blade of a Table Saw, for the tools in a home workshop; and UL 1594, Standard for Sewing and Cutting Machines, for a household sewing machine.

Learn more about holiday shopping trends for 2021 in the Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey.