2020 Holiday Season Shopping…It Will Be Different

COVID-19 has changed the retail landscape as we know it. E-commerce has become the norm, with many shoppers enjoying the peace of mind and ease that a simple click can provide. 

During the pandemic, customers aren’t waiting around for deals. Instead, they’re shopping earlier for the gifts they will need for the holiday season. And it is more than just about the gifts, as unemployment continues to plague some households, many are looking for new and less expensive ways to celebrate. This year is definitely going to be different. 

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Expect More Crafts

Some people have been hit hard by this pandemic and not just financially. Members of the family have passed, and some are grateful to be alive. When you are reminded about how precious life is…monetary things tend to take a backseat. 

Financially, many families continue to struggle. This year, the solution to that will be homemade gifts, such as blankets and those adorable macaroni picture frames—yep, they are making a comeback. Parents are going back to the basics. Plus, it might be helpful to keep those children busy with crafts rather than let them outside this winter—killing two birds with one stone! Smart!


COVID-19 spurred an online shopping boom that no one has ever seen before. Online shopping is efficient and safe and big-box retailers have worked to make it simple—updating websites, curbside pickup, and free delivery—you name it. 

Online shopping also offers a safe way to send gifts to loved ones. As health experts predict that the current pandemic will persist through the winter, more people are planning to order their gifts online for those that live further away in place of a personal visit (READ: The Packer).

When polled, only approximately 60% of consumers missed visiting stores in person. Those that did said they missed the shopping experience and hunting for great deals. 

Without a doubt, shopping online will persist throughout the fall, and online e-commerce platforms will see a drastic increase in holiday shopping sales this year. 

Bargain Shopping

With so many families struggling financially, consumers are taking large purchases and big spending off their list this holiday season. Instead, value shopping and finding amazing bargains are going to soar this year. Consumers are more frugal than ever right now, and it’s going to be on full display this holiday shopping season.

Frugal shoppers will not only be searching for online deals this season though. Stores that are known for offering bargains, such as dollar stores, will see a spike in sales while higher-end stores are predicted to see a startling drop when compared to last year’s sales.  

Over half of households are concerned with financial security, which is going to result in less holiday spending than in previous years. So, don’t expect that new Mercedes with the bow on the hood!

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More Early Bird Shoppers

People are not going to wait for last-minute Christmas deals this year. Instead, more consumers will begin preparing for the holidays earlier than ever before. 

Families that are concerned about job loss will begin shopping earlier while they have more financial security. They won’t tap into their savings accounts, but they’ll start buying a little bit at a time as they find things on sale. 

Upon searching for ways to save money on holiday expenses, consumers will discover that one of the top ways to save is to start early. This alone is going to be enough to get most consumers shopping earlier than they did in previous years. 

Final Thoughts

When COVID-19 first began its rampage across the world, panic buying resulted in many big stores being sold out of common items. Shoppers were then forced to either do without or find a new store. Many of those consumers found new stores that sold the same items—sometimes they even found them cheaper!

Because consumers are more loyal than ever right now, those same small stores are estimated to see an increase in sales this holiday season. 

Sadly, family dinners might also be smaller this year, which may lead to lower grocery sales and all the accessories that come with holiday dinner (like egg nog and cheese balls…which is maybe not such a bad thing after all). However the holiday season changes, one thing that everyone can agree on is that this year will indeed be a very different holiday season indeed. 

Drew Neisser