Holiday shoppers are looking for brands that will give back this time of year.

September is a pivotal month of change. The end of beach visits and ice cream cones, and the beginning of cold wind and the rush of holiday madness. Boot camp for retail workers will always be the months between September and late January. These few months test the strength of a store and the ferocity of its customers every year. But something is different this year – yes, the obvious – and so holiday season will be different. More people are spending time online, and that trend isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, 63% of shopping journeys start online today. So it is important for businesses to know their audience and know what trends lay ahead under the blanket of snow. E-commerce is now essential to businesses, with 56% of holiday shoppers caring if buy online, pick up in store (BOPIS) is available. And that’s not the only behavior trend that is changing.

Self-care is expected to rise this holiday shopping season.

“Treat Yo Self!” attitude is in full swing as consumers navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Facebook, with the self-gifting trend rapidly increasing across the world, China eye cosmetic purchases increased 150% and Europe saw a 300% increase in skin, hair and nail products. The United States is seeing a 218% increase in that field as well.

The majority of people (74%) responded in the Facebook survey saying they will be buying themselves something during the holiday season.

Trying something new was also a trend, with 64% of global shoppers saying they are open to trying new products during the holidays versus any other time of the year. Part of “trying new products” means trying internationally too, with 50% of their money spent on products from a different country.

How has the financial situation of consumers changed? With COVID-19 still impacting our retailers, of course businesses are worried about what the holiday season will mean if people are hesitant to spend. But globally, decreased spending seems less likely than earlier predictions had assumed. Sixty percent of Americans said the pandemic has very little to no impact on their spending, with 31% saying it had a drastic impact on their finances.

Sales and discounts continue to drive consumer behavior.

Source: The 2020 Facebook Holiday Package: Insights | Solutions | Inspiration

One thing that hasn’t changed financially is that deals and sales are a customer’s priority. Almost 1 out of 3 people said they would wait till the product becomes part of a discount or deal before purchasing it. The holiday deals and special sales like Black Friday are going to be no less attractive this year than they were last year.

While low prices are a trend that never goes out of style, a brand’s voice is more important than ever. People are looking to brands for their stance, their contribution and their voice. Sixty-eight percent of people said they thought brands should stop normal production to help produce essentials during the pandemic. Sixty-five percent said how well a brand responds to the pandemic/world issues has a huge impact on their purchasing from that brand. Fifty-six percent are happy to hear what brands are doing to help their community with many more statistics proving that speaking up is vital. While online shopping is growing, self-gifting is growing, and deals are a favorite of customers – it is getting harder and harder for brands to not become more personalized and engaged with its audience.

2020 has been many things so far, but there are still many months to go, and some of the craziest months for businesses are ahead. Time to get back to business stronger and more on target than ever. Holidays are coming and across the world this will be a time rooted in love, family and a sense of community.

Marketsmith is prepared for what is to come.
Let’s discuss your holiday go-to-market strategy.