Unprecedented 2.0: Holiday Retail Trends – Multichannel Merchant

Unprecedented 2.0: Holiday Retail Trends – Multichannel Merchant

Last year was a wild flight for sellers and consumers that culminated in a holiday unlike any we d ever seen. If COVID was the huge beast in the foreground, there were lots of other enforcing creatures– supply chain issues, shipping delays, significant changes in customer shopping routines– hiding not so discreetly in the background.
Now, with the pandemic lingering and most of us uncertain of what “regular” looks like anymore, its an excellent time to consider whats on tap for 2021 vacation shopping. Our study of 1,082 U.S. grownups exposes a fair amount about how customers are approaching their shopping this year.
A few essential trends to note …
An Early Start
Holiday buyers are planning to get an extra-early start this year. How early? Well, by the time you read this approximately 37% will have currently begun while a whopping 83% state theyll get begun before Thanksgiving. The early start isnt totally new. In past (pre-pandemic) years, most of consumers got rolling well prior to Thanksgiving weekend. Having said that, our study discovered that this years customers are extra-eager to catch the proverbial worm.
Some 66% said they choose to finish all their vacation shopping as early as possible and 30% state theyre starting earlier than in 2015. In spite of shopping and contemplating purchases early, consumers will still be out in force, both personally and online, on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The vast bulk of shoppers say theyre “likely” to go shopping on those two major shopping days for a minimum of a few of their vacation purchases.
An Even Split
Our consumer study revealed that sellers should anticipate a practically even split this year in between online and in-store shopping, a welcome sign that individuals are feeling more secure about checking out brick-and-mortar store places. Approximately 51% of participants in the 2021 survey stated they d primarily go shopping online this year while 49% would prioritize in-store. By contrast, in 2015– with COVID-related apprehension levels peaking– a larger contingent (56%) revealed a choice for online. Development.
Looser Purse Strings
On average, consumers plan to spend about 15% more on vacation shopping than they did last year, according to our study. In raw numbers, that indicates investing approximately about $886 per individual, up from $766 in 2020 and $738 in 2019. Given all the peaks and valleys of the last 18 months, thats excellent news for retailers.
Leading the way: some 58% of study participants plan to make apparel/clothing purchases. Popular are gift cards (54%), toys (40%), little electronics (38%), food and beverage (36%), shoes (33%) and jewelry (32%).
A couple small group notes of interest.
Upshot: What Consumers Want
Its worth noting that, while people are spending more this year, they are not spending mindlessly. In reality, they are being rather deliberate and are acutely concentrated on deal-hunting. Three elements stand out in their thinking, according to our study.
This sends out a clear message to retailers: tell buyers about your discount rates early so they can prepare. In previous years, weve seen major sellers kick off pre-Black Friday sales as early as October. Last year, major retailers like Home Depot, Walmart, Target and Amazon released choose Black Friday offers throughout the month of November.
On-time shipping: The 2020 vacation season was identified by significant shipping delays. This years similar challenges, broad staffing issues and scarcities of global shipping containers continue to give people stop briefly. While most shoppers are positive their gifts will arrive in time this year, more than 40% stay “worried.” That concern is helping to drive the early start we talked about previously.
Free shipping: Hear ye, hear ye! Some 46% of consumers are most likely to purchase from a retailer if they offer totally free shipping. When it comes to how customers decide where to shop, Free shipping beats out rate (45%) and loyalty programs (28%). In a world where customer-centricity is such a big talking point, sellers will want to take this to heart.
Wanting all our seller pals a smooth and prosperous upcoming vacation season.
Lauren Cooley is SVP of Retailer and Brand Solutions for RetailMeNot
This content was initially released here.

Well, by the time you read this roughly 37% will have already begun while a tremendous 83% say theyll get begun prior to Thanksgiving. Some 66% said they choose to finish all their holiday shopping as early as possible and 30% say theyre starting earlier than last year. Roughly 51% of participants in the 2021 survey said they d mainly go shopping online this year while 49% would prioritize in-store. Popular are present cards (54%), toys (40%), small electronic devices (38%), food and beverage (36%), shoes (33%) and fashion jewelry (32%).
Free shipping beats out cost (45%) and loyalty programs (28%) when it comes to how customers choose where to go shopping.


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