Deloitte Eyes Changing Holiday Shopping Behaviors
October 21, 2020
As consumers reimagine holiday traditions, retailers that can capitalize on consumers’ changing holiday shopping behaviors will likely be best positioned this season.
Despite its disruptive impact on consumer behavior and retail spending throughout the year, COVID-19 is not cancelling the holiday shopping season, although it is changing how and where consumers will shop. For the past 35 years, Deloitte has been tracking the holiday shopping period, examining consumer behavior and what retailers can expect from shoppers as they tackle their holiday shopping. This year’s report, “2020 Deloitte Holiday Retail Survey: Reimagining Traditions,” surveyed 4,012 consumers nationwide. Conducted online Sept. 9-15, it provides key insights into how COVID-19 is impacting the holiday season.
Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and U.S. retail, wholesale and distribution leader said, “In this season of uncertainty, price, value and convenience continue to be top considerations for consumers, as is the desire to get creative with how they celebrate the season with family, friends and pets, no matter the circumstances. As travel spend declines, retailers will likely benefit, and should receive a higher percentage of total holiday spend. The key for retailers is to stay flexible and offer options that appeal to consumers’ changing behaviors and address their evolving needs. Those that do will likely be better positioned for a bright holiday season.”
Stephen Rogers, executive director, Deloitte Insights Consumer Industry Center, Deloitte LLP added, “More than ever, shoppers are looking for safe and convenient ways to keep the season fun and festive. As a result, more shoppers are turning to contactless shopping options like home delivery and curbside pickup for safety and convenience. This holiday season is going to test even the best supply chains and logistics. Retailers who successfully address last mile requirements this season will like what they find in their own holiday stocking.”
Home for the holidays takes on new meaning as consumers shift spending
While the majority of consumers (71%) are in a similar or better financial situation than last year, nearly 1 in 3 (29%) say that their household’s financial situation is worse year over year. Given the financial uncertainty, 38% of consumers say they plan to spend less on the holidays, a level not seen since the Great Recession.
As consumers cut back on travel and other holiday experiences, they’re planning on celebrating the season with loved ones at home, and focusing their spending more on non-gift items like home, holiday furnishings and non-gift apparel.
Contactless gains importance as consumers seek safety and convenience
Ongoing anxiety spurred by COVID-19 continues to compound consumers’ shift from in-store shopping to contactless options. More than half of consumers (51%) are anxious about shopping in-store during the holiday season due to COVID-19, and furthermore, 49% won’t return to pre-COVID shopping behavior until a vaccine is developed.
Consumers plan to complete their holiday shopping in about 5.9 weeks, which is 1.5 weeks shorter than prior years, as they plan to avoid crowds, shop closer to home, shift purchases online and maintain flexibility in their personal budgets.
Consumers hang an extra stocking for a pet — and themselves