Although we’re still a couple weeks shy of the holidays, Canadians are already feeling the holiday spirit.
Gift shopping is in full swing as more and more people are visiting their local malls and plazas, no doubt with the intention of beating the holiday rush.
Not to be outdone, retailers are restocking the shelves and going all out with their marketing gimmicks to drive shoppers to their doors.
‘Tis the season to think ahead!
Retailers Are Reimagining Their Holiday Strategies
That’s right! All over, we’re noticing retail giants accelerating their holiday plans to evolve in a year that has been completely transformed by the pandemic.
The trend is two-fold. Some retailers are going full throttle on attracting buyers early to their stores whereas others are spending their dimes on online storefronts.
What safety precautions are physical in-store retailers taking these holidays to protect their patrons?
For one, we’re seeing the mandatory use of PPE for both clerks and customers, and the installation of hand sanitization stations at key entry and exit points.
Some are even going so far as to build queue shelters outside for people during the rain, wind and snow.
That being said, the anxiety of lower revenues this year as a result of fewer impulse purchases and financial drawbacks are a concern for many retailers.
Canadian Shoppers Still Seem to Love In-Store Shopping
PwC Canada’s 2020 Holiday Outlook still estimates that 59% of Canadian consumers will complete their holiday shopping in-stores this year.
One potential reason?
Most of these shoppers belong to the 55+ year age group, and 60% of whom are planning to drop by a physical store to purchase at least 3/4 of their gifts.
As for Gen X and Gen Z, 45% and 50% respectively are planning to complete their holiday shopping from a physical outlet.
Online Shoppers Are Still Expecting Curbside Pick-up at the Outlet
33% of online shoppers are still gravitating towards curbside pickup. The reason? Greater convenience. Shoppers don’t want to have to wait even 1 or 2 days more for their packages to arrive.
This way, they still get their stuff early, while beating the in-store rush.
Retailers Need to Evolve to the COVID Way of Life
It’s natural that retailers who resist change in the face of this pandemic will struggle to turn a profit.
The strategic ones who pivot in time will experience immense success and survive during this daunting year of uncertainty.
The holiday shopping season is well underway in Canada, however, most stores and patrons are keeping health and safety at the forefront.
Retailers are moving to adapt their stores to survive during these uncertain times. Even the smallest of strategic changes can help them close the gap in revenues that will arise due to the pandemic.
While most shoppers are sticking to physical shopping, we’re also seeing a growing trend of online stores that have enforced interesting marketing tactics to entice the wary shopper.
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