The 2020 holiday season is already looking a little different from years past. Keeping up with holiday 2020 retail trends is more important than ever as the continuing COVID-19 pandemic affects shopper behavior. This year, convenience and safety are paving the way for holiday season shopping.
Here are some trends to be aware of as we move into the 2020 holiday shopping season.
Online shopping reigns supreme
Online shopping has never been as important as it is in 2020. That's because shoppers are turning to digital options instead of heading to stores in person for holiday shopping. But online isn't limited to web browsers. More and more people are turning to social media for purchasing, especially through apps like Instagram and TikTok.
This means stores need to have a robust and functional online presence ready for shoppers. User-friendly websites, clear options and a social media presence all add up to a positive digital shopping experience for customers.
Longer holiday shopping season
Taking lessons learned from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone can expect a little longer holiday shopping season.
There are two reasons behind the extended shopping season. For one, shops are anxious for customers to place their holiday shopping orders. Although most shops have been able to reopen across California, stores know that the rules can shift at any time depending on how the pandemic progresses. Plus, COVID-19 safety protocols have led to delays in fulfillment and shipping, meaning last-minute holiday orders may not work out for everyone this year.
It's worth noting that not all shoppers are on board with an earlier holiday shopping season. Despite stores' best efforts, those buying gifts for loved ones may have held out for traditional Black Friday or Cyber Monday deal days to start this year's haul. That being said, early holiday discounts and specials could still lure shoppers in earlier on this season. Cost-conscious shoppers will be looking for the best deal whenever and wherever it lands.
Shopping budgets are slashed
Budgets are a little tighter this year in the face of widespread unemployment and a continuing recession. A recent report from CNBC noted that consumers are planning to spend less money overall this year, particularly for themselves or on non-gift items for others. In the face of financial hardship, non-necessities like gift shopping are easy to cut out.
Shoppers may find themselves with less need to buy for themselves, also. With large gatherings and events out this year, things like new outfits for corporate parties or even small token gifts for extended family members may not be necessary as people celebrate the holidays in smaller groups than usual. Plus, with less tourism to the area, we may simply see fewer shoppers around anyways.
Hybrid shopping options
Stores have figured out that not everyone wants to wait for their packages to come in the mail. Shipping delays can cause uncertainty, and some customers don't want to deal with the hassle of return shipping either. This is where hybrid shopping and new delivery options come in handy.
Retailers are offering more options than simply ordering products online for home delivery. Shoppers are turning to two other popular offerings:
It all comes down to convenience with these expanded online ordering options. Shoppers get the best of both worlds: a feeling of safety by not spending time browsing stores for a specific item, and the convenience of pickups or exchanges in person. Rather than waiting for shipments to process in either direction, customers are getting more expedient service while benefitting from the convenience of online shopping.
Stores move outdoors
Unlike some other parts of the country, SoCal retailers benefit from continued outdoor shopping options. Open doors and windows and pop-up markets offer another way for shoppers to feel a safe sense of normalcy while getting their holiday shopping done. As we continue into the holiday season, these outdoor options will continue to attract customers who want a taste of life as it used to be.
Holiday shopping in 2020 is going to look a lot different than years past. While e-commerce was already on the rise, pricing, timing and convenience are major considerations for shoppers this year especially. Even if the entry bells aren't jingling as much as in the past, digital, hybrid and outdoor shopping are breathing life into this year's extended holiday shopping season. [cite::171::cite] [cite::172::cite]