Retailers Get Ready

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Survey shows the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t disrupted
consumer holiday shopping plans

Despite the impact of COVID-19, shoppers do not plan to significantly change their holiday spending, compared with 2019 (remember 2019?), according to a survey released July 8 by Radial Inc., a multinational e-commerce company based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. However, the data did reveal a stronger preference for online shopping, with 66% of shoppers anticipating they will increase their online purchases during the 2020 holiday season.

While consumers are shopping more online, the survey found their habits aren’t changing significantly in terms of how much they plan to spend on holiday gifts and when they plan to buy. This means the holidays will be busy as ever.

Specifically, the survey found:

O 60% of consumers plan to shop less in-store this season due to fear of COVID-19 exposure. While there is still an appetite for in-store shopping, safety concerns and deeper consumer familiarity with online ordering indicates that e-commerce will certainly see higher activity than in previous years. 

O Despite the impact of the pandemic on delivery times, 41% of shoppers say they don’t plan to shop any earlier for holiday gifts, meaning that retailers will have no break between the current busy COVID-19 e-commerce climate and the already overwhelming holiday peak season rush. Retailers should not expect order increases to be stretched out over longer periods of time due to savvy shoppers getting ahead of the game. 

O 39% of shoppers plan to start shopping for the holidays in October into early November, and 30% plan to start on Black Friday (Nov. 27) and Cyber Monday (Nov. 30).

O The majority of consumers surveyed plan to spend the same as last year on holiday gifts, meaning retailers should expect similar order volumes as 2019. 

O 63% of shoppers say they are slightly or very much more likely to purchase from a retailer they knew is following COVID-19 safety precautions in-store.