2. Cautious Spending
While the employment rate has incrementally declined since hitting its peak in April, 16.3 million Americans remain out of work. The consumer confidence index sits at just 72.8 points this month, a far cry from the 89.8 points we saw in August of 2019. As consumers remain uncertain of the future and their own financial security, odds are they’ll take a more conservative approach to spending this holiday season. In fact, 40% of consumers say they’ve become more mindful of how and where they’re spending money and plan to reduce spending overall, as well.
Implications for Retailers
Retailers will have to adapt their holiday shopping business strategy to account for these new customer behaviors. Here’s a look at what these changing consumer comfort levels mean for retailers:
1. Step Up In-Store Safety
For those customers that do feel comfortable shopping in-person, companies need to communicate the precautions they’re taking to keep both customers and employees safe. Additional cleanings, social distancing measures, employee temperature checks, mask-wearing requirements, and item pick up are all great ways to keep customers feeling safe and confident when shopping in-store. Consumers also care deeply about how businesses are treating their employees. Twenty-six percent of consumers said they are buying more from companies that are taking care of their employees during this time.
2. Can’t Rely on In-Store Sales
Doorbuster deals might not be enough to bring customers in-store this holiday season. Market research company eMarketer estimates brick-and-mortar sales will drop 14.0% this year due to the pandemic and many brands, like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target, have announced they’re closing stores completely on Thanksgiving Day.
3. A Rising Need for Digital
In order to meet customers where they are, brands must continue to prioritize their digital presence. Even without the pandemic, consumer behavior was already shifting towards digital. In 2019, online purchases during the holiday season increased 14.6%—a trend that’s sure to be magnified in 2020. In fact, eMarketer predicts eCommerce will grow another 18% this year.
With less than 100 days until Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s holiday readiness crunch time for retailers. That said, there’s still plenty of time to test and optimize your site before the onslaught of holiday traffic. For digital experience tips, UX best practices, and brand success stories from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and beyond, check out our Holiday Readiness Hub for more helpful content. You’ll find everything you need to make this year’s holiday shopping season a success.
Featured image by ARUTA Images.