Through the Retail Lens: Holiday 2020 and the Shopper Mindset


National Retail Federation | November 23, 2020


Erica Carranza spoke with NRF about consumer mindset and holiday shopping in this unpredictable year. Erica Carranza is vice president of consumer psychology at market research firm Chadwick Martin Baileys. Here are some key takeaways:


Holiday shopping traditions that often involve crowds are sure to change this year and many holiday gatherings will get cancelled, negating the need to buy presents for hosts or gift swaps. People won't spend time on gifting experiences, like dining or travel. But the pandemic has only increased consumers’ desire to buy gifts that are meaningful. They’ll be looking for things that will help their loved ones make the most of remote living.


Shoppers will be juggling a lot this year, both mentally and emotionally. They’ll be preoccupied, rushed and exhausted. With shoppers in this state, it will be important for retailers not to overwhelm them further. The focus should be on delivering certainty, security, ease and convenience. Providing a sense of safety is crucial for employees to feel comfortable enough to be helpful and welcoming, and for customers to feel comfortable enough to shop.


Deliver curated ideas and inspiration across channels. To quote a shopper: “I think I’ll need more guidance this year than ever. Help me figure out what makes sense and strikes a balance between ‘nice thing you can use at home’ and ‘clutter.’”


Focus holiday marketing messages on meaningful gifts, safety, ease and convenience.


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