As the Pandemic Lingers, New Rules of Holiday Retail Emerge

Alexandra Pastore
·2 mins read

While recent months have found consumers decreasing overall monthly spending, a majority of shoppers say they will not decrease spending intentions for the holiday shopping season, according to Rakuten Advertising.

The company’s research report, called “The New Rules,” examined new consumer priorities to understand the new rules for reaching them in the fourth quarter of 2020. Overall, Rakuten’s data predicts an uptick in spending is near, with more than 70 percent of consumers saying they will not decrease spending for 2020 peak shopping days, despite 40 percent of shoppers reporting decreases in household spend during, and because, the pandemic.

Further, more than 60 percent of consumers reported they intend to spend during November and December. And 75 percent of consumers said they will shop for one to five people during the peak shopping season with a likelihood of increasing spend on their immediate family.

Notably, the company found American parents were the most likely to increase spending when purchasing for members of their immediate family. At the same time, 41 percent of American parents said they would decrease spending on friends.

“Consumers are prioritizing who they purchase for and adjusting budgets accordingly,” said authors of the report. “Across immediate family, extended families, friends, coworkers and charities, consumers are most likely to decrease the amount they spend on their friends and coworkers and increase for immediate family and themselves.”

At the same time, consumers without children were most likely to not make any changes to overall spending, when comparing to last year’s holiday spending.

According to Rakuten’s data, sales and discounts will be the most significant influence for purchases globally. Still, immediate need ranked as the second-highest purchase influencer. With this in mind, authors of the brand stated these findings indicate that brands will need to consider shipping times and product availability to meet the demands of last-minute shoppers.

With the goal of helping brands and retailers reach holiday shoppers this season, Rakuten listed seven rules, or performance strategies for success: stay confident; follow what’s relevant; just ask; mobile matters just as much; have something for everyone; meet consumers at the curb, and overcommunicate.

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