By Zainab Iwayemi
Consumers across the world have been seen to scale their 2020 holiday shopping preferences as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new data available to Business A.M.
Data by BuyShares show that, on the average, 48 per cent of global consumers have plans to cut their holiday spending in 2020 compared to the plans of 2019. A comparison between last year and this year shows a great disparity.
The year 2020 has been hit by a global disaster causing it to suffer economic uncertainty hence, reducing traditional spending habit such as holiday spending.
The data presented further show that out of thirteen countries, Indonesian consumers are expected to spend less in 2020 at the rate of 71 per cent compared to last year, while in other countries, an average of 13.46 per cent will spend more in 2020 than was done last year. Meanwhile, Chinese consumers top the rank at 29 per cent among countries to spend more in 2020.
Further analysis of the report accessed by Business A.M also showed that the most anticipated shopping period which, the United States look forward to as of November 2020, Christmas holiday tops with 30 per cent followed by Black Friday at 23 per cent while Father’s day was ranked the lowest at 7 per cent.
How Covid-19 has transformed the spending atmosphere
Over the years, as the holiday season approaches, economic activities bubble with consumers anticipating robust package, sellers expect big sales and the market entertains crowd. As a matter of fact, some store depends on the last quarter of the year to enable it to hit yearly targets, while looking forward to growth. It is however unfortunate that this year’s spending may level up to the previous years due to economic uncertainty occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, most consumers are still suffering the aftermath of the lockdown which has claimed lots of jobs, as employers strived to remain afloat during the health crisis. While consumers who have been focusing on debt payment and stimulus paychecks find it hard to sustain daily need coupled with holiday spending, other shoppers elsewhere are making plans to spend more.
Though, it is likely that some consumers will go back to their scale of preference trying as much as possible to reduce cost during this period and wait for normalcy to return before spending their usual amount. The current travel and gathering restrictions have changed the tradition of holiday shopping. Thus, a population of consumers would exercise patient for the perfect moment to keep the spending tradition alive.
China, in spite of being the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, has the highest number of shoppers from the country planning to spend more. This is a result of the country’s significant leaps towards returning to normalcy with people resuming routine economic activities after the initial lockdown imposition. Hence, giving consumers more time to recover from lost resources and spending more on holidays has outshined most countries in handling the crisis.
The data further shows that although most Americans consider Christmas as their favourite holiday, as the season gives more time to bond with family members, but with the country’s pandemic cases hitting new heights, most people are full of hope that a vaccine will be available soon as authorities are already advising that travelling for thanksgiving be forfeited for Christmas.
Moving with the changing holiday scope and behaviours
The Coronavirus has led many retailers into online services and as such, consumers have imbibed the habit of shopping for the holiday earlier especially after retailers announced offers and promotions to encourage early shopping. This means that during the holiday season, consumers just have little to buy.
Though early shopping was meant to avoid long-minute logistic challenges, especially for retailers without complex e-commerce structures saw most items discounted. As a result of the second wave of coronavirus pandemic, the call for early shopping was further broadened. Therefore, consumers intending to travel during the coming holiday season might divert their fund for online shopping as authorities continue to discourage travel.
Moreover, more time has been spent by consumers in developing their digital capabilities with regards to improving applications and online shopping experiences as brands are now focusing on strong digital offerings like intuitive mobile browsing, chatbots, simple payment options and gateways as well as accurate and personalized recommendations.