How Small Retailers Can Appeal to Vacation Consumers

This promises to be a very unusual Christmas shopping season for small retailers this year. We cannot look at past consumer behavior as the coronavirus affects how, when and where people shop. 83% of shoppers say the pandemic has changed their shopping habits, according to a report in Think With Google.

The holiday shopping season is obviously crucial for retailers. Alignable’s latest report highlights the dire circumstances faced by many retail companies. 69% predict a fourth quarter revenue decline compared to last year. What is worse is that 63% of these companies “generate a disproportionate share of their sales in the fourth quarter”.

Target online buyers

According to several surveys, the key is to increase your online sales efforts. Think With Google reports that 74% of shoppers plan to buy more online this year for the upcoming holiday season. An Adelphic survey of Americans who stream television content shows that the number of streamers planning most of their vacation shopping online has increased by 62%.

And the good news is that e-commerce sales are booming. A report by the Census Bureau shows online sales increased 44.5% in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019. Total online sales for the second quarter were $ 211.5 billion, 16.1% of all Retail sales versus 10.8% equals% of total retail sales in Q2 2019.

In addition, eMarketer has revised its retail sales forecast for this year, forecasting that online sales are likely to grow 32.4% to $ 794.5 billion this year.

Be reactive, not proactive

New research from PayPal is a cautionary note that “many US retailers are taking a reactive, wait-and-see approach to the holidays”. This is the wrong approach. Small retailers need to be proactive. by finding innovative, technology-based ways to reach consumers in the new environment.

While 20% of SMB retailers surveyed say their “future depends on this year’s holiday results”, 57% had not yet started holiday preparation. Most (70%) know they will not be hiring vacation workers this year.

If this sounds like you, now is the time to shift into gear. Think about where to sell to replace the expected lower foot traffic. The PayPal survey shows that 39% of retailers plan to sell products on digital marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy, while 31% will sell through their social media accounts.

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safety first

One of the reasons consumers are looking to shop less in-store this year is concerns about the coronavirus. So, it’s up to you to make sure shoppers feel safe when they walk into your store. According to the PayPal report, 81% of retailers will take extra precautions to keep shoppers safe.

One way to do this is to limit physical contact and help clients practice social distancing. According to PayPal, 46% of respondents plan to offer roadside pick-up, and Think With Google reports that 50% of shoppers say they can continue to use roadside pick-up services after restrictions are lifted.

Around 46% of retailers surveyed by PayPal plan to make masks mandatory and implement rules for physical distancing, and 34% offer hand sanitizer in-store.

Digital payments

Offering digital payment options in-store also makes customers feel more secure as they are less convenient to exchange cash or credit cards with business staff. According to PayPal, 34% of the retailers surveyed plan to implement cashless payment options.

Digital solutions also make it easier for customers to shop more safely and flexibly.

Consumers are already accepting them. Credit card and smartphone contactless payments increased 107% from the week of March 2 to the week of June 29, according to a report by CardFlight.

There are numerous contactless systems available, including those from Square, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Stripe, and PayPal.

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