Wednesday, October 7, 2020

2020 Holiday Shopping Predictions

2020 has had a lot of canceled events, but I think I’ll miss tackling my holiday shopping in-stores the most. It’s such a thrill competing with my fellow shoppers to grab the last item on the shelves and then standing in line for what seems like hours to checkout. I’m kidding – I will not miss in-store holiday shopping this year and from what we saw last year during the 2019 holiday season, I’m willing to bet most consumers aren’t either.

To say consumers loved completing their holiday shopping on their mobile devices in 2019 is an understatement. Smartphones accounted for 84 percent of last year’s holiday season’s eCommerce growth.

But that was last year; our world looks a little different now. Consumer behavior has changed. I don’t know about you, but jeans probably won’t make my wish-list. So what will the 2020 holiday season look like? Let’s peek into our crystal ball to get a better picture.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Hi, my name is Michelle and I am a self-proclaimed holiday shopping procrastinator. Last year, I was able to kick my shopping into gear by Black Friday (which I was very proud of – in past years, it’s been December 24th). But it looks like I’ll have to one-up myself this year. 😧

I think we all remember being completely dumbfounded when entering a grocery store back in March and witnessed the toilet paper aisle be completely barren. I’m not saying toilet paper will be a hot commodity during 2020’s holiday season (or maybe it will, anything goes this year), but because of global supply chain issues, the aisles of this year’s trending gifts may share the same fate as bathroom tissue seven months ago.

Walmart seems to have a hold on how to best handle this year’s holiday shopping season. Not only has Walmart announced they plan on hiring 20,000 seasonal associates for its eCommerce fulfillment centers, but they increased the assortment of this year’s trending gift categories. And according to Walmart’s research, 87 percent of consumers plan to seek out deals earlier than Black Friday this year. Even the National Retail Federation is encouraging shoppers to ‘get a move on’ rounding up their holiday gifts. So, start filling up your online shopping carts, folks.

Mobile Will Take Home the Gold

What happens when the entire world is stuck at home? We seek entertainment on our mobile devices – but you probably already knew that. What you may not realize is the collective amount of time users are predicted to spend on mobile devices; the amount of time spent on Android devices is expected to increase by 50 percent to almost one billion hours by the end of the year (have these people not watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix?).

Our addiction to mobile is a good news/bad news situation. For brands who chose to invest in mobile marketing strategies this year, they’re expected to reap the rewards of our screen time. Shopping app engagement increased by 40 percent in March. If consumers spent a whopping $50 billion on their smartphones during the 2019 holiday season, think about how much bigger this number will climb when we’re still facing a pandemic.

For brands that have been reluctant to innovate, mobile may not be the MVP of this year’s holiday shopping season. 63 percent of surveyed shoppers have dramatically decreased their frequency of shopping in stores. Q4 has the potential to secure the fate of many retail brands.

What’s Your Plan of Attack?

How do you feel after looking into the 2020 holiday shopping crystal ball? If confidence is your only emotion, get out there and take this year’s holiday shopping season by storm – it sounds like you’ve got your mobile strategy under control.

But if feelings of nervousness and panic were brought up, then take this as your sign to implement a new technology today. Unfortunately, it’s probably too late to start developing a native mobile app for your eCommerce strategy (but we’re not going to build another native mobile app ever again, right?). Good news: it’s not too late to build a Progressive Web App (PWA). Using a low-code platform, you could build a mobile app in a matter of hours. 2020 has been a bit of a dumpster fire. Don’t let the fear of implementing a new technology secure your brand’s fate. Come out of this year stronger than ever by building a PWA on the Lumavate platform.