Retail Week: Top 3 Consumer Trends to Watch This Christmas

Christmas Shopping in the UK

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Christmas celebrations this year will be unlike any other. Social distancing and restrictions on gatherings are some of the many limitations that people have to abide by this festive season. 

With that in mind, here are the top 3 trends which retailers should take note of in order to attract shoppers this ‘COVID’ Christmas.

1. Home decor gifts are rising in popularity

With nation-wide lockdowns and social distancing restrictions, it appears that consumers have been gravitating towards home improvement purchases. For instance, leading home furnishing retailer Dunelm saw sales surge by 37% in the third quarter to 26th September. 

“The period from March to June this year saw 41% more searches related to consumers trying to find inspiration than the same period last year. Their thoughts turned to make their surroundings more pleasant, with search interest in “bedding” and “cushions” up 25% and 40% respectively since 2019, and “tableware” up 16%.” said Alison Lomax, Director of Lifestyle Retail at Google.  

Some of the top trending categories on Google’s Rising Retail Trends are: 

  • Table runners and tablecloths 
  • Cocktail and barware sets (searches up by more than 100% as compared to November) 
  • Cocktail mixes, flavored alcohol beverages, and beer dispensers (searches up by 80%)

 

2. Brick-and-mortar shopping might make a comeback

This year brought an unprecedented shift towards online shopping. That being said, it appears that consumers are still looking forward to in-store shopping – particularly from local stores. 

After stores re-opened last weekend, a noticeable surge in shoppers was observed. More than twice as many visited the high streets of UK on the 5th of December than the week before. To avoid traveling to city centers and in a bid to support local businesses, shoppers are looking to purchase more from neighborhood stores.  

As Lomax of Google explains: 

“Though customers are shopping online, they’re also browsing to find local shopping options. As of May, searches for ‘available near me’ have grown globally by over 100% since last year.” 

 

“Smaller and medium-sized businesses can also benefit — searches for ‘support local businesses’ have grown globally by more than 2,000 times year on year. This trend is likely to continue. Based on new research by Google and YouGov, 88% of consumers who are now shopping more locally say they’re likely to continue to do so in the future, while 51% of local businesses believe online reviews can boost business.” 

3. Consumers will look for thoughtful gifts but will be cautious with spending

After months of social distancing, finding the perfect Christmas gift will be more important than ever this year. 

Ella d’Amato, Chief Commercial & Marketing Officer at Notonthehighstreet.com says:

“We believe that there will still be strong consumer demand over the festive period as people look to purchase thoughtful gifts for others and to treat themselves after what has been a very tough year.”

Retailers should therefore ease the product discovery process for shoppers. For instance, Notonthehighstreet has a section on its website that shares gift ideas for many; including grandparents, couples, and families.

Nevertheless, consumers will be cautious in their spending this year amid the current economic conditions. 

“People will be careful with their pennies so each purchase will be more considered than maybe it was in previous years.”, says D’Amato of Notonthehighstreet.com.

 

Source: Three trends on how, what and where consumers will shop this Christmas

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