Holiday Shopping Trends/Predictions for 2019

October 28, 2019

With just 26 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year, holiday shoppers have less time than usual to complete their shopping. According to information from RetailMeNot, only a third of Americans are aware of the shortened holiday shopping season. Whether they're aware or not, the shorter timeframe is expected to impact consumers in the following ways:

  • 34 percent of shoppers will begin looking for deals earlier in the season
  • 29 percent will begin researching products sooner
  • 28 percent will make their first holiday purchase sooner than they otherwise would
  • 16 percent will utilize stores who offer expedited shipping
  • 14 percent will stress about whether they can complete their shopping on time

Trends for the 2019 holiday shopping season include:

  • FOMO pop-ups: Retailers are capitalizing on the Fear Of Missing Out factor, which drives consumers to purchase items that are only available for a short time, by opening pop-up, holiday shopping stores complete with promotions that the products are available today, but will be gone tomorrow. Some of the businesses that open temporary pop-up stores for the holidays include the eCommerce stores that wish to test the market for brick-and-mortar locations, as well as those who wish to extend their reach into markets where they're not currently located. For example, See's Candy recently announced that it would be opening a pop-up store in Pismo Beach, California. Pop-ups are also viewed as a way to bring more business back to struggling malls throughout the country.
  • Thanksgiving shopping hasn't completely caught on yet: Many consumers state that they don't want to complete their holiday shopping on Thanksgiving and many others say that they don't plan to shop on the holiday at all. Further, a movement to convince stores to close on holidays and allow their employees to spend the day with families has shoppers giving a wary eye to those who actively promote Thanksgiving Day shopping. However, 30 percent of consumers surveyed do plan to use the holiday as a shopping day, with three-quarters of those shoppers planning to pay a visit to a retail store. Retailers are encouraged to tread carefully when it comes to shopping on Thanksgiving day. Many plan to offer shortened hours or advertise sales only for a few hours in the evening as a way for shoppers to get a jump on Black Friday.
  • Amazon leads the way: 21 percent of surveyed consumers plan to primarily do their holiday shopping on Amazon. More than half of consumers who plan to shop online for the holidays stated that it was more convenient to do so. Those who plan to utilize local brick-and-mortar stores to purchase their holiday wares stated that being in an actual store was better for inspiration and easier to compare products when you can actually see and hold them. However, even those who shop in physical stores tend to go online or to mobile retail sites in order to research products and compare prices.
  • What consumers really want: Two of the most important offerings that stores can provide their customers this year are free shipping and low prices. One trend that is highly encouraged for retailers is the option to buy the product online and pick it up in the store. Many consumers surveyed stated that they often make additional purchases while they're in the store picking up the product they ordered online. Many stores are now providing customers with the chance to shop from the privacy of their own home, yet pick up the item in the store and save on shipping. Some examples include Nordstrom, Walmart, Kohl's, Macy's, The Home Depot, and Best Buy.
  • In addition to Black Friday and Cyber Monday -- which often feature different deals for each shopping day -- shoppers also have the opportunity to support small business with Small Business Saturday. Now in its tenth year and backed by American Express, Small Business Saturday is a reminder to all that supporting small businesses in your neighborhood or community helps not only those businesses to thrive but to keep your holiday money local rather than spending it all on big box stores and eCommerce.

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