Press Releases

Press Release 11 September 2021

Enthusiasm And Consumers Renewed Spirit For Buying To Boost 2021 Holiday Sales

After a dull holiday season last year, industry watchers predicted an eventful comeback this year, but with a twist. It will never be the same as the pre-pandemic times, though sales and enthusiasm for the upcoming holiday season are expected to be much higher than 2020!
As per latest predictions, 2021 holiday retail sales in the US will expand by 2.7 per cent, to reflect a sales value of US $ 1.093 billion. What’s for sure is that online platforms will largely contribute to this growth with predictions of a rise by 11.3 per cent which will result in a total value of US $ 206.88 billion. Some even feel that e-commerce could account for a record 18.9 per cent of all holiday retail sales.
The general vibe is positive due mostly to the widespread vaccine access and Covid-19 restrictions largely being lifted across the world. As 2021 is poised for a major return to all things holiday, there is hope that some amount of normalcy will return to shopping behaviour. Yet retailers must be ready for another season of online shopping and non-traditional fulfilment methods.
While each research agency has its own take on what are the trends to watch out for, ASW compiles the 4 major predictions that will define the holiday season of 2021.
Re-discovering the joy of celebrations:
There is unanimity in the thought that this upcoming holiday season will be big for sales. The consumer is looking to cover up for 2020’s missed holidays and there is a strong collective desire to make up for lost time, compensating for last year with a focus on decor, cooking, entertaining and more. Re-discovering old and new tradition, the joy (and challenges) of returning to in-person gatherings, gratitude, loss, shifting perspectives on what’s most important in life. People want to relive the time lost and what better opportunity than the holiday season.
More focus on value and sustainability:
The idea of consumerism has changed. Now it is not only about buying and gifting, but also about value and sustainability. On one end, there will be strong consumer interest, especially among younger generations, in local, handmade, sustainable and eco-friendly gifts. Alongside that, demand for products that have real use and value will be in. Interest in luggage, sporting goods and vacationwear is expected to rise as more and more people get back to planning trips. Finally, consumers will be looking to revamp their wardrobes as they trade virtual events for in-person celebrations.
The safety trend in shopping will continue:
The world is not free of the virus as yet and precautions cannot be overlooked for celebrations. This is a reality and like last year, retailers will continue to offer click-and-collect options like BOPIS and curb side pick-up. The importance of continuing is seen from the fact that even with lockdowns being lifted, the Y-o-Y growth rate for click-and-collect is predicted to grow by 10 per cent this year. At the same time, the NRF found that BOPIS improved the customer experience for 70 per cent of surveyed consumers by increasing convenience and 90 per cent of those surveyed are more likely to choose a retailer based on convenience.
Multi-channel retailing will bring more consumers:
The multi-channel options for shopping are not going anywhere. While bricks-and-mortar stores will see more shoppers this year, it cannot be denied that customers have adapted to the digital storefront and expect technology to allow them to seamlessly transition to the in-store experience, especially with safety concerns still prominent. It will be important for brands and retailers to be accessible on all platforms and offer an experience that is seamless and inviting. An omnichannel experience is also key for any e-commerce brand that wishes to better engage with its customers.

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