Holiday shopping will look different this year, but it is not canceled.
With the holiday season just around the corner, both consumers and retailers are wondering how this year’s holiday shopping experience will look. In the midst of COVID-19, many consumers are nervous to go into stores and retailers are missing their usual customers. Deloitte’s 2020 holiday retail survey gives insight into many new trends that we can expect to see this year as we are approaching the time for holiday shopping. The most important thing to note is that COVID-19 is not canceling holiday shopping. As a matter of fact, the survey explains that
“For retailers, it will be a season of uncertainty, but as we have seen in previous eras, disruption often leads to innovation and opportunity. In 35 years of analysis, perhaps the most resounding takeaway is that both consumers and the retail industry are resilient.”
Consumers will be cutting back on travel and experiences this holiday season. So, where are they spending their money? Deloitte’s research tells us that 1/4th of the average consumer holiday expenses is expected to be spent on retail items. Consumers will be spending more money on clothing and home/holiday furnishings. This is exceptionally great for retailers, as they should receive a boost in sales this year of up to 66%.
Within retail categories, clothing and accessories are predicted to attract the largest portion of holiday spending, with 74% of shoppers purchasing these items. Giftcards, food and beverage, and electronics follow closely behind. It is evident that many consumers are focusing on physical products this upcoming season, rather than experiences.
It is clear from Deloitte’s study that retailers are forecasted to do well this holiday season. However, for these retailers to thrive, it is very important to understand the predicted trends of consumers over the holiday season. This will allow retailers to plan and adjust accordingly, to give their customers the best possible experience, while making customers feel safe. What will this forecasted innovation and opportunity look like?
Create Curbside Pickup
This season, customers are avoiding crowds and seeking out contactless solutions. Preference for curbside pickup more than doubled from last year. What does this mean for retailers? If consumers are seeking out contactless solutions, retailers need to be willing to provide it for them. One way to do this is to find multiple smaller retail locations across major cities to house inventory. If inventory is spread out across many areas near the customers, customers can conveniently use curbside pickup as an option to retrieve their items. With many small locations, the customers won’t have to travel far, and this can act as a happy medium between only shopping online vs. shopping in-store.
Popshop has tons of small retail spaces spread throughout the United States. No matter what size city or town you live in, popshop’s retail spaces are perfect for retailers to house their inventory. This way customers can retrieve their purchases locally, without having to sacrifice their safety at a large retailer.
The Simple Solution
If customers are too nervous to purchase gifts for others in-store, offer them a simple alternative: make e-gift cards easily accessible for your customers to purchase for others. With a shift in consumer trends, gift cards are the second highest retail category that customers will be spending on. This allows customers to feel invited to enter the store once they feel comfortable doing so, or shop online if that’s what they prefer. With e-gift cards, retailers are portraying to the customers that they understand their concerns and want to help them. This is such an important message for all consumers to understand right now, and e-gift cards are an easy way to say it.
Communication is Key
Although customers may be anxious about shopping in-store, it is up to the retailers to make their customers feel more comfortable. How can retailers do this? Communication. It is crucial for retailers to communicate to their customers the precautions that they are taking to ensure the safety of both employees and customers. These safety precautions can include a maximum occupancy for the store, entrance by appointment only, or temperature checks upon arriving. Whether there is an update on the company website or a new Instagram highlight explaining the new safety regulations, retailers must make customers feel more comfortable by communicating with them.
So, what next?
Retailers, listen to your customers. Ask them what they want to see in your store or on your website to encourage them to support you. Offer an easy way for customers to provide feedback. What better way to know what your customers want than to hear it directly from them? Customers, speak up! Tell your favorite brands what safety precautions you would like to see or that you wish they provided a curbside pickup. Let them know what other products you are looking for them to sell. The more these brands know, the better they can support you. Let’s keep both our customers and retailers resilient during this very different festive time of year.
by Brielle Hoffman
Popshop is here to help you every step of the way. Popshop offers tons of spaces ready to be customized by your brand. Choose a space, join the community, and take your brand to the next level with a pop-up store.