2020 Holiday Shopping Forecast: How the pandemic will shape consumer behavior

November 11, 2020

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Between economic concerns and worries about social distancing, there’s plenty of uncertainty surrounding the 2020 holiday season for retailers. But one thing is for sure: Everyone wants to know how holiday shopping during the pandemic will shape up.

To help get a clearer picture of what to expect, 360 Market Reach conducted a market research survey asking respondents about their holiday spending plans, to discover the consumer insights your business needs to make more informed decisions this year.

The good news is that a majority of consumers still plan to celebrate the season by giving gifts. In fact, 74% of respondents say they plan to spend the same or more this year compared to last year. However, 62% said their celebrations will be different this year, with many planning to gather only with immediate family, citing both financial and health concerns.

Unsurprisingly, many consumers plan to shop online, but 69% of consumers plan to shop both in stores and online, suggesting that retailers can expect some shoppers to come out looking for bargains, aisle inspiration, and items they want to take home immediately. Still, 52% of respondents are concerned about waiting in long lines to check out, which is likely related to worries about social distancing, which 51% of respondents expressed.

As far as what gifts those shoppers are planning to buy, our survey found that perennial favorites are still topping many wish lists, including apparel, video games, electronics and home goods. 

Holiday Shopper Purchase Intent: Top Product Categories

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Looking to the future, our study detected a number of optimistic notes, with clear majorities expressing a positive outlook in general, and for their personal financial situations in 2021. This may seem surprising, but after the upheaval that many experienced in 2020, most of our respondents seem to be ready for some good news in the new year.

Consumers Expressing A Positive Outlook For 2021

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