There is no surprise that Holiday shopping will be quite different this season. Large crowds swarming the aisles fighting over the last flat screen TV on Black Friday is a thing of the past. We have already seen how shopper behavior has forcibly shifted. While most of the world locked down earlier this year, digital shopping increased tremendously. In fact, an article by JPMorgan states that U.S. consumers spent $211.5 billion during the second quarter on e–commerce, up 31.8% quarter- over-quarter. With these momentous changes, marketers and retailers will have to rethink the holiday season like they never have before. In this article we’ll share information on what to expect this 2020 holiday season to help you prepare.
As the season changes, many consumers have one thing looming in the back of their minds — will another wave of Covid force shutdowns once again? With that in mind, consumers are trying to get ahead of holiday shopping just in case. Holiday season is “extended” this year, kicking off in early October and lasting into the new year. Marshal Cohen, chief retail advisor at market research firm NPD Group, expects sales to grow between 2.5% and 3.2% during this year’s extended holiday season, which will begin in October and last until mid-January. Companies like Amazon already kicked off their holiday shopping push by moving their Prime Day to October this year, which brought in over $10 billion in online sales. Early in the season, incentives like discounted rates and product bundling will get customers in the door.
According to Deloitte, online sales are expected to grow between 25% and 30% and account for nearly 17% of total retail sales this year. Holiday shopping will play a key role. To best prepare, retailers should ensure that they are equipped to handle the influx of online traffic. That might mean hiring extra warehouse workers to get more shipments out at a faster rate. Keep in mind that shipping services could become overwhelmed, leading to a delay in deliveries, and forcing customers to look for alternative options. Some customers prefer to order online for curbside pick–up to cut out added stress and shipping fees. The number of orders placed online and picked up at stores by customers surged 208% between April 1 and April 20 compared with a year ago, according to Adobe Analytics. Offering curbside pick-up options allow for the safest option to customers who like the reassurance of getting their gifts in hand.
Consumers are not shopping like they used to. With many attractions and entertainment venues still closed, many shoppers are turning away from experiences as gifts and leaning more towards products. However, according to Forbes, some gifting categories are predicted to see growth. By year’s end, health and beauty categories are predicted to be up 23%, consumer electronics could rise 20%, fashion could be up by 19% and home furnishings could grow 16%.
If we learned anything this past year, it is that people are extremely resilient. Despite all the changes that came with 2020, the spirit of giving will still be present this holiday season.