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What a COVID holiday shopping season may bring
Posted on: Oct 05, 2020        Categories:   Marketing Insights

Pandemic it or not, the holiday season will soon be upon us. For many businesses this is a make or break time. Getting it wrong can have dire consequences.

So let’s take a quick look at what a variety of research studies report 2020 holiday shopping will offer.

Holiday spending:
Most research results are finding that consumers are planning to spend the same or close to the same as last year. While this certainly sounds like good news, some surveys are tallying up to 90% of consumers saying saving money is also a key motivator this year.

While these findings sound contradictory, it could also be a sign that bargain hunting and sales may become more vital than ever before.

The obvious news about digital:
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that industry experts and consumer surveys are expecting online shopping to be more popular than ever.

With COVID-19 fears of entering brick and mortar stores combined with the fact that millions more people have gotten into the habit of shopping online, it is shaping up to be the biggest digital holiday shopping season ever.

How big? In one survey of 1,0000 consumers almost 70% said they anticipate buying more online than in the past.

Delivering on expectations:
The big challenge online sellers have always had is timely shipping. Our country’s shipping infrastructure is already working at its limits due to the pandemic. This means the holidays could be catastrophic for businesses that don’t have a plan in place to set expectations.

The good news is that shopper surveys are showing that delivery time expectations have grown longer. With over half of respondents now saying five-day shipping is reasonable. Of course, the fact that research is also showing that 41% of shoppers aren’t planning on shopping earlier this year could still make delivery fulfillment something that keeps retailers up at night.

The one thing we can be sure of this holiday season:
We really have no clear idea of exactly what this holiday shopping season will be like. With all the unknowns and untested processes the best approach is to plan carefully and then be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice.

If you’d like more information on digital best practices or effective holiday marketing, give the Insight Marketing Design team a call at 605-275-0011 or send us an email.

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