This year’s holiday shopping experience is different from any year before. The economic climate and COVID-19 have created the perfect storm for retailers. These limitations have altered the traditional in-store shopping experience.
But it isn’t all bad news. The holiday shopping experience to-date has proven to have positive milestones so far. Brands have already had significant success from Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM). Much of this success is due to adaptability, innovative technologies, and omnichannel services. Let’s take a look at how retailers are attracting shoppers in this new holiday landscape.
The Buying Experience is Different
When we think of the holidays, we usually picture long lines and waits. That scenario no longer is the same for 2020. The nation has gone through phases of shutting down and re-opening since the onset of COVID-19. New health and safety measures have instilled new behaviors and trends within consumers. More consumers have shopped online even during reopening, in comparison to when stores were still closed. In PYMNT’S latest report, The Great Reopening: Doubling Down Online, research shows that safety and convenience are the two primary motivations behind shopping digitally.
In exchange for chaotic swarms of shoppers, brands have invested in a streamlined digital experience. This has led to a boom in businesses implementing omnichannel services. This strategy will remain essential for a seamless holiday shopping experience. Shopping options such as Curbside Pickup, Online Ordering, Buy Online & Pick Up In Store (BOPUS), and Contactless Delivery adopted by brands earlier this year for COVID-19 safety have prepared them for the holiday shopping season.
Mobile shopping will be an important omnichannel strategy in the customer journey this holiday season. Mobile data and analytics firm, App Annie, estimates that U.S. consumers will spend over 1 billion hours on Android devices alone in Q4, up 50% year-over-year. In anticipation of this growth, brick and mortar retailers have beefed up their mobile experiences with innovative technologies and more.
Whether it’s the ease of access or concerns over COVID-19, it’s clear that the shift toward online shopping and omnichannel features will be here to stay.