What does a good shopping experience look like for Christmas 2020?
Consumers want to go shopping in stores. Of course, that comes with caveats, according to the results of a new survey from Oracle.
The research found that only 20 percent of shoppers plan to shop exclusively in stores during the holiday season and 47 percent expect to split their purchases between physical locations and e-commerce sites. Sixteen percent plan to shop online and pick up their orders at curbside. Regardless of where and how their holiday shopping takes place, 58 percent plan to spend the same or more this year than they did in 2019.
Safety is the primary concern for those consumers who plan to venture out to shop in stores. Eighty-two percent said it was important to see visible cleaning efforts taking place in stores and shopping centers. Seventy-nine percent wanted to see staff and customers wearing face masks. Reduced store occupancy levels were important to 76 percent and two-thirds wanted contactless checkout options.
Home delivery remains the preferred method of receiving products for 66 percent of consumers going online to shop. Transparency is the key to delivering for customers, with increased volume expected to result in longer shipping times during the season. Seventy-three percent of customers want to receive real-time updates on progress through the delivery path to their doors.
“Every parent nervously waiting for their child’s holiday gift to arrive will attest that transparency from retailers is an absolute must,” Mike Webster, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Retail, said in a statement. “Brands have to have the systems in place to communicate with customers every step of the way — from ordering through to delivery.”
Out-of-stocks remain a major point of unhappiness with consumers. Forty-seven percent said out-of-stocks are the definition of a bad shopping experience. Sixty-three percent were unwilling to wait for a retailer to restock, choosing to seek the merchandise elsewhere.
One thing that consumers don’t want to have to deal with — good news for retailers — are returns. This year only 38 percent plan to return holiday purchases, down from 77 percent who said they expected to return at least one item in 2019.
“With more consumers avoiding returns, redeeming gift cards will be the next big opportunity for retailers to engage customers and extend sales post-holiday,” said Mr. Webster.
- Will Holidays be Naughty or Nice for Retailers? Consumers Dish on Shopping Plans – Oracle/PRNewswire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What does a good, perhaps even great, shopping experience look like to you for the 2020 holiday season? What retailers are in the best position to deliver the shopping experiences that consumers want in this tumultuous year?