Published Oct 28, 2020
Ron Ruffinott, Head of Research, Americas
This has been a year of the unexpected, with ever-changing consumer behavior further complicating things. It’s more important than ever to keep your finger on the pulse of what your target audience wants and expects for the 2020 holiday shopping season and beyond.
Here’s an example: We know that social distancing and travel concerns will impact holiday celebrations dramatically, yet shopping — including in-store — remains a priority. Caution isn’t extending to in-store shopping experience, as expectations of deals and shortages persist.
Surprised that consumers don’t plan to avoid stores this year? It’s just one example of the unpredictability of consumer behavior. Let’s look at other overarching trends, holiday by holiday, to understand how things are tracking.
Halloween 2020 is still a go.
While it’ll look different for many families this year, 89% of Americans plan to celebrate Halloween this year with family-only house parties, virtual gatherings, or traditional trick-or-treating. A whopping 98% say they’ll buy candy to treat themselves and others.
Expect less travel and large gatherings this Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving 2020 promises more intimate celebrations with far less travel than in years passed. In fact, while 90% of people say they’ll celebrate, 58% say they don’t plan to travel at all. Consumers are trending away from “Friendsgiving” celebrations as well, opting instead for quiet gatherings of immediate family only.
Shoppers will still hit the stores for Black Friday deals.
Consumers have started their holiday shopping early this year. Why? They’re worried about stock and product availability. And the majority — 79% — look forward to bigger sales on Black Friday, with nearly half saying they’ll hit the stores in person. Consumers also believe there will be great deals to be had on Cyber Monday, but only 68% will participate.
More intimate holiday and New Year’s gatherings are ahead.
Even fewer plan to gather in groups for December holidays than for Thanksgiving, and fewer still for New Year’s celebrations this year. This includes house parties, of which 48% plan to attend one for the holidays, and just 12% to welcome a new year. New Year’s resolutions are on the rise, with a focus on happiness, health, and self-care.
Brands and retailers, take heart! Shopping (including in-store) remains a priority this holiday season, and celebrations are still on. Remember to stay in touch with your target audience as their needs continue to evolve — and fast — so you can keep up for holiday 2020 and into the coming year.