By Jim Ragosta, Digital Media Specialist
2020 has been a whirlwind for retailers globally. COVID-19 has had a dramatic effect on purchase intent and how/where consumers want to buy goods or services. This whirlwind will definitely impact the upcoming holiday shopping season. From government regulations imposed on brick and mortar retailers to individuals following CDC guidelines to keep themselves and their families safe, expect a very different holiday experience this year. Oh and note to self, start your shopping early.
Black Friday & Cyber Monday
How, when, and where people shop has been altered due to COVID-19 and social distancing measures. Planning ahead for shopping trips or browsing for items in general have become increasingly popular. 77% of US holiday shoppers will browse for gift ideas online vs in-store according to Google. What does this mean for Black Friday? Well, it means that we can expect less people shopping in store for Black Friday deals than years prior, but we can expect curbside pick-up to be stronger than ever, which Google searches for “curbside pickup” have grown over 3,000% globally year-over-year. Also, Google searches for “available near me” have grown over 100% globally year-over-year. So, in-store consumer turnout may not be high, but we can expect people to order their products online and pick up at store instead of browsing in-store and waiting in long lines.
On the flip side, this means that retailers should have high expectations for Cyber Monday and beyond, and expect internet deals to go on throughout the remainder of the holiday season. Why should we expect deals to be extended after Cyber Monday? Research shows that 46% of online shoppers are expecting retailers to offer discounts, as the online retail realm becomes more and more competitive, shoppers become deal-seeking vampires. We should also note that 69% of US shoppers plan to shop online for the holidays, which is an increase from previous years. Remember when I said you should start your shopping early? Yeah, this is why…. don’t be one of the last people in the paper goods aisle fighting over who gets the last roll of toilet paper!
How Can Retailers Prepare?
While many consumers shop with big named retailers, there is plenty of opportunity to make your local business shine and take advantage of the current retail landscape! Take in a few of these fantastic data points:
- More than 50% of US Shoppers tried a new shopping service this year
- More than 1 in 10 US Shoppes tried a new shopping app for the first time this year
- 70% of US Shoppers are open to buying from new retailers
- 70% of YouTube viewers say they become aware of new brands based on the platform.
- 46% of US Shoppers like to shop at businesses that align with their values
- 66% of US consumers who are making holiday shopping plans want to shop more at local small businesses.
Very impactful data! And you know what’s even better? YOU have the ability to reach these people! Here are some tips in how to do so:
- Update your Google My Business Profile (store hours, shopping options, curbside pickup, safety attributes, business attributes)
- Enroll in the Google Merchants program and start listing your items online for free with Google.
- Monitor retail industry trends by knowing what’s popular and top of mind
- Build your social media presence by growing your following and engaging with people within platform. (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest)
- Improve your website SEO for local searchability
- Create Google Ads, Social Media Ads, YouTube Discovery Ads
If you need help with any of the aforementioned, Force 5 can help your business grow and thrive this Holiday Season! Listen to the data, it doesn’t lie!
*All data within this article is sourced from Google Ipsos COVID-19 tracker