- Online sales will continue rising
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased online sales on a scale never witnessed before. This was evident in 2020, which broke records. This year, you should expect online sales to continue growing for about 10% in the US and around 7% in the rest of the world. As we inch closer to November and December, known for increased shopping activity, online shoppers in the US will spend over $259 billion and about $1.2 trillion globally. This means that you need to have an excellent online presence as a retailer.
- Gift cards will continue being a leading choice for consumers
Gift cards still rule the shopping world, and you are likely to get a few in the coming season. Therefore, as the new season draws closer, prepare gift cards for your customers because it is still one of the favorite discount options. Whether you are running a department store or a grocery store, gift cards might work well for your customers.
- Rising costs will affect the shopping experience
There has been an increase in the cost of doing business across the world. This has led to the rise in labor costs and the costs associated with freight and manufacturing. As the holiday season gets closer, consumers will pay 20% more for their shopping as retailers and manufacturers raise the cost of products. This will likely affect shopping this holiday season as most people scale down their shopping.
- There will be more swapping and shopping post-holiday
After the holidays, some people would expect a reduction in shopping activity. However, this is not always the case. Expect more shopping and swapping to go on even after the holidays as consumers plan to cash in on after-holiday bargains where the cost of products has dropped. Most consumers also expect to return gifts after the holidays, meaning shopping will continue some days after the holidays have ended.
- Social media is still king
Social media continues to rule the marketing world, and this will not be different in the coming holiday season. As holidays get nearer, many retail companies will use hashtags to drive their sales messaging about their products. As retailers take advantage of social media platforms for marketing, you will see different hashtags. The only thing that retailers need to do is be consistent and look at the trends and what customers love. Companies will embrace concepts such as Facebook Live video to market their products.
Generally, with the pandemic still in place, there are still many challenges that make this year’s holiday experience different than ever before. Although in-store shopping will continue, online shopping is gaining momentum, and many retailers will continue embracing it. Millennial shoppers are most likely to increase their shopping and spend more money during the holiday season. On the contrary, the older shoppers tend to stick with their budget, although they will spend more compared to last year where the pandemic was at its peak. Regardless of the differences between this year’s shopping habits compared to those of the other years, you must have a concrete strategy to appeal to your customers.