In The News in 2020: COVID alters holiday shopping expectations.
In a normal year, August might be a smidge too early to be worried about Black Friday. Unfortunately, 2020 is not a normal year, and Black Friday will not be business as usual. Big box stores are already making big plans for adapting to Black Friday sales in the time of COVID, which will inevitably affect the eCommerce market this holiday season.
Big Box Store Closures
Target joined Walmart in a recent decision to stay closed on Thanksgiving this year. This marks a huge shift from the past few years where these stores opened up on Thanksgiving for early Black Friday shoppers looking for deals.
Retailers are having to face the stark reality that huge deals bring big crowds, and this year just isn’t the right time for big crowds to gather safely.
Planning for holiday shopping in the midst of a pandemic is no easy task, and we should expect that shopping around Thanksgiving this year will be way different from past years.
Macy’s CEO, Jeff Gennette, even predicts that there will be a longer holiday shopping season, starting after Halloween.
What To Expect This Black Friday 2020 Shopping Season
Though stores are still scrambling to figure out how to have a successful shopping season despite a pandemic, there are a few trends that experts are anticipating will take off.
Pulling in influencer campaigns.
Boosts to social media advertising.
Bundle offers online.
Offering exclusive products.
Building a bigger digital presence for brick-and-mortar stores.
How eCommerce Retailers Can Prepare
In a recent report from Google, the tech giant shared trends they anticipate for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020.
Last year 78% of US holiday shoppers used three or more channels to do their shopping, and over 50% of their purchases were made online. We should expect those numbers to grow in 2020 with retail shopping becoming more limited due to crowd size and health concerns.
That means that there will be increased competition crowding advertising channels with digital deals. With brick and mortar stores predicted to start driving holiday shopping earlier than ever, this means DTC eCommerce shops should start ramping up their Black Friday plan as soon as possible.
eCommerce Stores should start thinking about:
Utilizing marketing channels that have been trending up for them.
Ramping up their customer experience processes to handle an influx of customers.
Optimizing your website for the best user experience.
Testing audiences for a holiday paid ad strategy.
Stay tuned for more tips from EmberTribe to prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020.
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