Blis is excited to announce the release of a new infographic that provides essential holiday tips for marketers and business owners hoping to get ahead of the 2021 holiday season. The biggest takeaway: consumers are shopping in-person again. We’re calling it “revenge celebrating,” where people are adamant about shopping in-person after being inside and online for so long. As we’ve tracked consumer mobility over the last two years it’s clear that consumer mobility is (slowly) returning to in-person rates, and by November can be expected to hit a pandemic-high.
Who’s buying when?
While these in-person numbers grow, it is important to keep in mind that visit patterns are different between retailers. Last year’s visitation numbers show that while discount and department store shoppers spent more in the two days before Christmas, those buying luxury goods shopped more the weekend before (the 19th).
Certain groups of shoppers are more likely to be returning in-person than others. Of course, it’s the less risk-averse shoppers who already returned in-person between fluctuating lockdowns that are most likely to be in stores this holiday season. The most important thing for retailers will be identifying who these people are. Our numbers indicate that last-minute department store and luxury shoppers will have the highest in-store numbers, so it will be important to focus on driving these people in stores.
Assisting the return to brick and mortar
Because of the vast amount of stores that closed during lockdowns combined with shoppers losing their familiarity with stores while being at home, retailers will need to do a good job of over-communicating with consumers. Retailers who closed locations should be proactive about guiding shoppers to still-open locations or towards ecommerce.
An important lesson from the numbers: last minute makes a difference.
E-commerce has thrived during COVID-19, and it’s a space that will only continue to grow. However, there are certain aspects of shopping in-person that e-commerce is unable to provide. Things like immediate access to products and sampling make in-person more desirable. Also, shopping in-stores provides a better experience during the holidays as a ramped up effort towards customer service and entertainment is used to invoke the holiday spirit.
While we’re urging marketers to start earlier than ever in 2021 due to supply chain issues and pent-up demand, we’re also expecting higher rates of last-minute shoppers this season. Last year, we saw 12% of overall retail visits categorized as “last minute (Dec 18-24), and that number is expected to increase this year due to the return of busy schedules.
These shoppers tend to be less price sensitive and therefore may be more receptive to impulse buys and overall higher basket value. Ramp up efforts in that window and focus on what’s important to them: simplicity and speed.