How Will COVID-19 Influence Holiday Shopping Habits?

There’s no doubt that holiday shopping in 2020 will be a completely new affair. While people would line up before sunrise at the mall to take advantage of Black Friday deals or rush to stores for their last-minute shopping before Christmas, everything’s going to change this year.

For example, over 33% of Canadians who regularly buy their gifts on Black Friday stated that they wouldn’t be doing so for this holiday season. 56% of Canadians also said that how the pandemic evolves will determine their shopping habits this year. As a result, retail store owners have no clue what to expect. At a time where retailers are suffering heavy losses, it’s going to be the responsive ones who will reap the benefits of this holiday season.

In order to aid retailers in planning their approach for this season, we’ve provided some important insights in this article, which was made after surveying Canadian consumers on how the pandemic has changed their shopping habits:

  • People will use the Internet more to make their purchases

Shopping websites generally experience a significant spike in sales activity during the holiday season. In 2019, over 80% of Canadian shoppers used 3+ online shopping channels to buy holiday gifts. Over 50% of purchases were online as well. This number is expected to grow further in 2020 with more than 65% of Canadians stating that they would be shopping for gifts online instead of going to physical stores. 73% revealed that they would select their gifts online instead of the store. Retailers need to adapt their digital strategies to attract customers.

  • People shopping in-store will have planned and researched their gifts online

Even before the pandemic broke out, people would use the Internet to select and research their purchases. With convenience and availability becoming the top priority, 69% of Canadians stated that they would use the Internet to confirm the availability of an item before heading to the store. Retail owners need to maintain accurate inventory data online. To attract more shoppers to your stores, ensure your inventory details are presented accurately on your ads. Offer information regarding products in your store, operating hours, and your health & safety policies.

  • People will prefer safe, digital shopping methods while making in-store purchases

The definition of in-store shopping has changed significantly since the pandemic broke out. Alternatives like contactless buying and curbside pickup have become normal now. Over 50% of Canadian consumers said that they would only go to contactless shopping stores. 44% of shoppers stated that they would be using curbside pickup/in-store pickup services after purchasing online. You can also add information regarding the items eligible for curbside pickup in your Google ads.

Experts all around will be watching and studying the behavior of Canadian shoppers during the holiday season to see how COVID-19 has impacted their holiday shopping habits. As it’s obvious now that the Internet is going to play a pivotal role, ensure you provide ample information regarding your inventory and offer convenient pickup options to your potential customers, thus attracting more business to your store.

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