6 spooky stats to help you better manage your 2020 holiday retail season

By | 3 minute read | October 29, 2020

Even though this year has been scarier than encountering a black cat, Halloween is still eagerly anticipated across the United States. According to NRF, an estimated 58% plan to celebrate and a total of $8.05B will be spent during the holiday. Candy, costumes and decorations – oh my!

Let’s review six spooky stats that can help transform your business now, and in the future, as we enter the peak shopping season:

  1. 46% of shoppers plan to start their holiday shopping earlier this year – An extended shopping period starting before Black Friday and Cyber Monday can ultimately create a ripple effect of challenges for retailers. Whether fulfilling orders online or in-store, you need more inventory available longer across a broader range of locations in order to meet individual customer expectations. But if you don’t have visibility into accurate inventory levels, this can lead to lost sales, customers aggravated by overpromising, giving away margin due to markdowns and expedited shipping charges.
  2. 29% say their personal finances have decreased – Yes, this stat is more than frightening. However, the same report also says that 56% of respondents plan to spend the same amount of money holiday shopping this year as last. (There’s some good news for retailers and brands!) To entice customers to purchase, offer additional promotions in order to meet them at a more cost-efficient price point.
  3. Foot traffic has fallen 20% since the pandemic arrivedDecreased foot traffic can only mean one thing – increased online sales! Maximize fulfillment options such as buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup and ship-from-store in an effort to keep inventory moving. The holidays come with a hard delivery timeline to guarantee gift-giving promises, so alternative options are essential in light of shoppers who may not step inside your four walls.
  4. 40% expect to spend less on Halloween than in 2019 – Coresight Research estimates a dip in Halloween spending this year. While this doesn’t come as a huge surprise, this should serve as motivation to capitalize on each and every dollar spent with your business. Aligning promotions with CDC guidance on low-risk Halloween activities, and providing options to your shoppers such as curbside pickup and same day delivery, can ensure a safe and convenient experience, while also securing sales.
  5. 31% of shoppers are placing orders via a mobile app – According to the IBM COVID-19 Consumer Survey, 2020 has pushed shoppers to try new channels such as mobile apps and social media. Big retailers like Lowe’s have seen record-breaking app downloads throughout the pandemic. While this might have been a one to three-year vision for your digital transformation plan, data shows that you need to meet customers the way they want to engage. According to Forrester, 33% of shoppers don’t plan to resume normal shopping habits1. The uptick in curbside pick-up and BOPIS that retailers are seeing presents new opportunities to leverage in-app promotions to drive order values once customers enter the proximity of the store pick-up location.
  6. Pop-up locations to be scaled back by more than 90% – Party City announced to open just 25 pop-up stores under its Halloween City banner this year. With fewer storefronts open, shoppers have to travel further to get what they are looking for – or look elsewhere. For that reason, its critical to optimize inventory at each holiday pop-up throughout the 2020 season to match customer demand. Looking back at the previous years’ trends, you can shift inventory levels to neighboring stores to make sure you never risk out-of-stocks for key items.

Hopefully these stats don’t have you too spooked! Yes, 2020 has been a wild ride. But the unexpected can also present opportunities. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. Start small to build quick wins that will have immediate impact to the customer experience, and your bottom line.

1 Forrester Analytics Consumer Technographics® COVID-19 Survey (Wave 2)