Holiday Shopping Business Checklist
Posted September 30, 2021
October is in full swing. For retailers everywhere, that means the holidays are approaching…fast! The only question now is whether or not your store will be ready in time.
As businesses are dealing with a mix of supply shortages and shipping challenges, keeping your inventory stocked and ready for the upcoming seasonal demand can be difficult. But knowing what’s ahead in terms of shopping trends and buyer behaviors can help you prepare your store and team for the increase of eager holiday shoppers this year.
Holiday Shopping Trends 2021
Below we’ve listed a few holiday shopping predictions for 2021, so you can kickstart your retail game plan!
Shopping Will Start Early
You might remember seeing advertisements for Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday promotions as early as mid-October last year. Experts predict this will happen again in 2021.
More businesses will jump on the early deals bandwagon and customers will get their shopping done earlier to beat the crowds and shipping delays common to the holiday season (Radical).
In fact, top retail trends indicate that most shoppers (approximately 83%) say they plan to begin their holiday shopping even before Thanksgiving. That means they’ll be on the look out for holiday deals earlier than they were in 2020.
Customers Will Still Use BOPIS
The “Buy Online, Pickup In Store” option will likely be utilized by more shoppers this holiday. Experts believe this will happen for two reasons:
- It will provide shoppers peace of mind. Knowing that their products are safely stored away and awaiting their arrival helps ease holiday stress. They no longer need to rush out before a particular item goes out of stock.
- It will still provide shoppers an opportunity to take part in the “magic” of the holidays.
Remember that holiday shopping is an experience—one that many might have missed out on last year. For this reason alone, people will be eager to see festive lights, Christmas trees, window displays, hanging reefs, and other holiday decorations throughout their local shopping centers.
So, rather than merely purchase products online and have them delivered, they’ll want to still have access to the experience of holiday shopping in stores, too.
Apparel Is Still a Hot Commodity
We’ve mentioned this in other shopping trends for 2021, and the fact remains that people are showing more interest in updating their wardrobes—especially after a year-long work from home routine.
It’s reported that shoppers will spend more this year than 2021. And over 58% of that increase will go to apparel and clothing items.
People Will Pay More for Value
In an article we published on post pandemic trends, we noted how customers are making a move back to shopping locally. And as we predicted, it looks like this trend is here to stay.
In a recent customer survey, it was reported that 63% of consumers claimed that they are willing to pay more for locally made gifts this holiday season: “There is a renewed call to buy local and minority-owned businesses, and buyers are willing to pay more to support these enterprises, ” (Cision).
How to Prepare for Holiday Shopping 2021
- Be sure that the inventory for your brick-and-mortar store and eCommerce site (if applicable) is regularly updated and monitored. The last thing you want is for customers to arrive to pick up an item that’s already out of stock.
- Focus your inventory on products that are trending: “While you may want to offer seasonal items in your store, it’s also wise to invest in evergreen best sellers. Think of products you could continue selling year-round should you find yourself with overstock,” (Faire).
- Add to the magic of the season: “Elaborate window displays, festive in-store décor, and unique experiences—in addition to deep discounts—are what draw increased foot traffic to physical retail locations in the fourth quarter,” (Criteo).
- Give people a reason to shop with you. Make sure to update your website with your “about us” to share more information on your mission and vision. If you are an ethics-based brand, be sure customers understand how you’re making a difference with your products. Customers who discover you share the same views as them on social issues will want to give you their business over other brands.
- Advertise new promotions on social media. Let your followers know when you have a big discount or promotion coming up this holiday. Platforms like Instagram may help: “Instagram is a popular choice among creators and consumers for commerce. It’s also a great platform for keeping customers up-to-date on sales, holiday hours, and other important business information,” (Faire).
What More Shopping Trends?
Want more retail tips for your business? Stay connected to our blog for shopping trends this holiday season and into the New Year.