Holiday shoppers fit into one of four categories, and "consistent shoppers" are the fastest-growing group, according to the Holiday Retail Insights Report by Atlanta-based Cardlytics.

Cardlytics is a purchase intelligence platform with access to spending data from 120 million bank accounts.

The company analyzed three years of data and divided shoppers into these groups:

  • Consistent shoppers - 32 percent start shopping at end of October and continue until Christmas. On average, these shoppers spend nearly $1,200 during the holidays.
  • Last-minute shoppers - 31 percent wait until the second week of December to start shopping. They look for extended store hours and shipping guarantees.
  • Black Friday warriors - 22 percent shop the third week of November through the first week of December. Their numbers are shrinking, and yet the price of their average transaction is higher than the other groups.
  • Early birds - 15 percent begin buying the last week of October and finish by mid-November. This group spends less and visits fewer stores.

“Each segment contributes to the holiday season in their own way," said Dani Cushion, Chief Marketing Officer for Cardlytics "To maximize spend, it’s important for retailers to execute marketing pushes throughout the holiday season, instead of focusing only on Black Friday. For instance, we see that major retailers with pre-Black Friday promotions outperformed other retailers, experiencing an average 1.4 percent year over year growth from 2014 to 2015.”

Cardlytics also found that shoppers are buying more stuff but spending less overall, and online shopping continues to become more popular.

"Consumers are increasingly confident in ordering online gifts," Cushion added. "Through our purchase intelligence, we see that online shopping is very popular for late shoppers as more than 15-percent of all online holiday purchases happen one week before Christmas.”