Adapting for the Holidays: How Retailers are Pivoting for Q4

With COVID levels fluctuating across the country and legislative action remaining uncertain, businesses and consumers across the country are making the best of this year’s holiday shopping season.

 

‘Tis the season! When we thought retailers and brands couldn’t promote holiday shopping any earlier, a global pandemic happened, and the 2020 holiday season became a little jollier (insert sarcasm).

Remember retailers opening doors on Thanksgiving night and shoppers lined up for miles on Black Friday? Do you recall squeezing through store doors and making a dash through the aisles to snatch the best deals? This year we won’t see much of that as the biggest shopping day of the year has to adjust to our new normal.

In an article by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, data from a survey by RetailMeNot showed that 40% of shoppers plan to buy early. As most consumers have relied on Amazon and online shopping throughout the pandemic, they will probably do the same for the holidays. With these statistics, Black Friday will look more like Cyber Monday, but those that want to shop in-store still have a chance.

To combat larger crowds, stores are taking necessary precautions, including offering extended sale days emphasizing taking advantage of curbside pick-ups and offering the same Black Friday discounts online, but starting a lot earlier. According to Forbes, brands have to adapt holiday advertising messaging to not seem tone-deaf and starting the holiday shopping season earlier may help with sales. Also, so retailers are continuing to break tradition and remaining closed on Thanksgiving Day.

In September, Walmart announced its “Deals for Days,” a revamped way to shop for the holidays. Instead of a huge event on Black Friday, Walmart is splitting the deals into three events throughout the month of November. Each week they’re focusing on discounting specific parts of the store first online and then later that week in stores. Target launched new Black Friday deals for consumers to snag every Thursday through Saturday during the month, and first-time price matching until Christmas Day. Macy’s will jump-start their sale November 16th.

To make shopping even easier, check out the best deals in one place with smartphone apps such as BuyVia, Shopkick, ShopSavvy, and Shopular let you scan bar codes or QR codes to compare prices, get discounts, and score coupons.

Happy Holidays!

Tania Royster is an intern at Bond Moroch.

 

 

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