The holidays are coming, and they’ll be here sooner than we all expect. Shopping has always been a significant part of holiday preparations for people as they stock up on supplies and buy gifts for their loved ones. Likewise, e-commerce has always been an important part of shopping, with online alternatives to brick and mortar stores increasing in popularity and use steadily. Of course, this shift is even more concentrated this year, with the worries of social distancing and quarantining due to the pandemic. What are your plans for shopping for the holidays?
This is exactly what companies and businesses are wondering of their customers, in hopes to plan for the upcoming holiday season. In a survey done by Deloitte, the statistics shown were incredibly clear that this is a year unlike any other. “Consumers are planning to visit just 5.2 retail stores on average, consulting firm Deloitte found in its annual holiday survey. That’s down from seven last year, 6.9 in 2018 and 5.7 in 2017. It marks a record low for the survey, which polled 4,012 consumers from Sept. 9 to Sept. 15.” This shows a very clear necessity for a shift between brick and mortar holiday shopping and the e-commerce alternatives. This is indicative of a very important thing for retailers to keep in mind. This season, the several weeks leading up to the holidays are incredibly important for revenue and sales. Many of these companies have hopes to extend the holiday season, but consumers are shifting in the opposite direction with hopes to get their shopping done quickly and safely.
Safety is the main concern with consumers as we go into the holiday season, with over 50% of people surveyed saying they were “anxious about going to stores this holiday season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.” Even among those that are not too concerned to go to actual stores, many of them want to do less stops in order to get their shopping done all at once. Larger stores that offer a wider range of products are incredibly useful for this because a customer can go into one store and get all of the items that they would need. These stores are also already prepared with their cleaning and safety procedures, which allows for a higher sense of security in the shopping there.
The most important thing that these companies can do in order to keep up their sales this holiday season is listening to their customers and what they are wanting in their shopping experiences. When customers are hoping for online shopping, the best the companies can do is ensure that their online presence is prepared for an influx of shopping accompanying the holiday season.
Of course, this is incredibly simple to say, but less simple to do. During the holidays, companies are used to seeing a large influx of customers shopping and are prepared to deal with them in their brick and mortar locations. However, they need to apply this sort of preparedness to their online presences as well. That being said, with how e-commerce has consistently grown since its conception, companies have already delved into it efficiently and successfully. They will have to continue with these practices, especially during the holiday season, especially because “A separate forecast is calling for foot traffic in retail stores to be down 22% to 25% year over year during the six key weeks of the holiday season.” Keeping this in mind, consumers and businesses alike will need to be prepared for holiday shopping to continue to change and shift as time goes on.