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Plan for an Unusual 2020 Holiday Season Featured

Plan for an Unusual 2020 Holiday Season "Shopping freak"

Almost everybody has found their plans mired in the coronavirus. From the retailers whose sectors they depend on have been closed down to holidaymakers whose travel plans have been limited, everyone has been left thinking of what will happen next. Most people have been forced to change their plans while others have halted them completely. As the holiday season gets closer, many retailers will soon start planning their 2020 season, if they have not begun already. While people in this industry have had it easy to forecast and diligently plan for such seasons and execute the holiday campaigns accordingly in the past, this year is a difficult one considering the challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

As part of those who plan for the 2020 holiday season, here are some of the trends that you should watch in 2020 and how you should prepare:

  1. Ecommerce will be retail’s lifeline

Online retail has been rising for years and has become a popular way people shop for the holiday season. In the US alone, online shopping reached about $142 billion last year, a new high. However, with the pandemic, the same is expected to go up even more this year as shoppers increasingly use online means due to restrictions. Moreover, most brick and mortar stores have closed during the pandemic. In contrast, those that have remained open have adopted an online retail strategy to minimize contact with people as a way of tackling the pandemic. As you plan your holiday, you should focus on your safety as a customer while the retailers should ensure that their customers are as safe as possible.

  1. The holiday shopping season will be stretched

Over the years, the holiday shopping season has been relatively fixed to specific days or months of the year. The shopping season started as the American Thanksgiving started up to Christmas. It covered the famous Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Over recent years, shopping has been extended and is no longer necessarily limited to a timeframe. According to research by RetailMeNot, 45% of shoppers start shopping as early as November. As we enter the holiday season, therefore, prepare as early as October for possible increase in the number of shopping. Encourage your customers to buy gifts as early as they can and align your merchandising team.

  1. Mobile will continue growing in importance

 Mobile devices have increasingly dominated the list of devices being used to visit retail sites. It contributes to more than 58% of the traffic, according to ADI. Given the pandemic, which has led to the reluctance of shoppers to visit stores, there will be increased mobile traffic and shopping this holiday season. As a retailer, build an e-commerce website and app for both iOS and Android-powered smartphones that are customer friendly. Make it easy for customers to communicate and pay for products of their choice. Always track customer experiences and address issues that arise in their shopping.

  1. Communication will become more critical

The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things, including how we communicate and how we engage customers. Communications have moved from face-to-face to emails and other platforms such as Zoom. As the holiday season draws closer, methods of communication among the customers and retailers will become highly critical. It is vital to start preparing as early as now to ensure communication with your customers is top-notch and is not disrupted at any point. Reduce areas that may cause confusion and frustration to the customers regardless of the communication method you choose. Come up with a policy that clearly gives instructions on how you ship and deliver products and handle complaints. For emails, have generic templates that will make interaction fast.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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