It may be July, but retailers around the world are feeling the crunch as the 2021 holiday shopping season looms just around the corner. Many are working overtime to identify the strategies that will make this critical period a success after a sideways 2020—from marketing and communications to pricing and sales. Chief among those considerations should be a cogent multi-channel approach to selling and, where brick-and-mortar retail is possible, extensive safety protocols to keep consumers comfortable and confident.
Long before Black Friday arrives, consumers will be evaluating their holiday gift shopping options. This season will require some creativity from retailers: Consumers are split down the middle when it comes to choosing between shopping online—as many did in 2020—and choosing to browse in brick-and-mortar stores. Those are the findings of our latest Consumer & Retail study, Sink or Soar During the 2021 Holidays: Redefine Your Brand and Gain Market Share.
The piece confirms what many have long speculated—consumer habits are changing, and maybe permanently. However, what’s not been as clear for retailers is just what those changes will look like. We now have answers: 44% of consumers in our survey said COVID-19 has changed how they prefer to shop. However, similar to how they shopped during the pandemic, consumers on average plan to do 48% of their holiday shopping this winter in brick-and-mortar stores, and 53% via online retail or through curbside pickup services.
Such an even split presents unique challenges for retailers, who will need to intimately understand their customers to know how best to position their holiday sales. In all but very specific circumstances, a “one-size-fits-all” approach to sales—from price to channel—poses a risk of missing out on a large segment of a consumer base and is likely to fail most companies. Similarly, offering every customer every option under the sun could result in dilution or confusion. Each company must have the actionable intelligence to craft a curated strategy to maximize engagement.
To learn more about your customers and what they’ll look for this holiday shopping season, click the button below to dive into the full white paper. Better yet, drop us a line—we’d love to help craft your winning strategy this year.