August 31, 2020
By: Caity Roach (née Witucki)
Contributing Editor, Main Street Monday
Main Street Monday – Main Street Prepares for Holiday Shopping
While it may seem a little early to start thinking about the holiday shopping season, this time of the year represents a critical period for retailers as inventory orders typically need to be placed within the next couple of weeks. However, this year poses a unique challenge given the persistent influence of COVID-19 on consumer spending and shopping habits. According to a recent survey conducted by a Google retail analytics team, half of U.S. shoppers say the pandemic will affect how they will shop for the holidays this year.
Here are the highlights from Google’s 2020 Retail Survey:
- More than a third of U.S. shoppers say they are not planning on shopping in stores for Black Friday this year.
- Nearly 75% of shoppers say that they plan to shop more online for the holidays this year than they did in previous years, and a similar number say they will first browse for gift ideas online and not in-stores.
- 66% of shoppers say that they plan to shop more at local small businesses during the upcoming holiday season.
- 53% of shoppers that plan to shop this season say they will choose to shop at stores that offer contactless shopping.
- 47% of shoppers surveyed say that they plan to use options to buy online or use curbside pickup.
- 70% of shoppers say that they intend to start their holiday shopping earlier this year to avoid crowds with 39% of respondents saying that they plan to start shopping in October or early November.
- 80% of consumers plan to consolidate their shopping to make fewer trips than they did in previous years.
In light of these findings, small business retailers will need to be creative to attract holiday shoppers. Main Street America recommends providing outdoor shopping options, focusing on niches, and organizing co-op delivery or curbside pickup.