Marketer’s Recap Holiday 2020 | December Week 3
Consumer confidence falters amid COVID surges while in-store traffic rates experience 41% declines. Read how Marketers should respond and plan for 2021.
Just days until Christmas 2020, holiday retail shopping is coming to a close with spiking COVID cases and retailers pushing alternate fulfillment options as stores experience a much anticipated steep decline. Read all of our insights and what actions you should be taking below.
Macro Trends – What macroeconomic trends did we observe?
TREND 1: Despite recent positive market indicators, U.S. consumer confidence fell more than expected in December with the latest surge of COVID-19 cases.
- U.S. state unemployment rates unexpectedly jumped to the highest level in three months, suggesting the labor market’s recovery is faltering amid the worsening pandemic and widening business restrictions. 1
- U.S. consumer confidence unexpectedly fell in December to a four-month low of 88.6, down from an estimated 97 amid record COVID-19 cases and deaths, overpowering optimism surrounding new vaccines and federal-aid plans. 2
- So what? Cases are expected to surge post-holidays, potentially translating to a worsening labor market. Marketers should prepare for continued uncertainty before widespread vaccine distribution.
TREND 2: As anticipated, despite shipping cutoffs in place for major delivery companies, store traffic dropped significantly to last year in the final days of shopping with potential relief to come from newly approved stimulus checks.
- Store traffic for Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas) dropped 41% to last year. Super Saturday was the largest in-store shopping day in 2019. 3
- Reduced traffic trends were especially pronounced in COVID hot spots like California where stay-at-home orders have limited retail stores to 20% capacity. Out West, foot traffic was down 47% on Saturday versus a 35% decline in the South.
- Millions of Americans could start to see $600 stimulus checks in their wallets in a matter of days after Congress overwhelmingly passed a $900B stimulus package, deemed a “down payment” on a bigger bill for vaccine distribution and business aid. 4
- So what? Stimulus checks could prompt some additional spending before and around the start of the New Year. Marketers should prepare for slight upticks while focusing on 2021 plans with holiday officially coming to a close, leaning into delivery and alternate fulfillment methods in the new year while store sales remain low.
Ovative Cross-Client Trends – What trends did Ovative clients experience last week?
Last week, performance remained steady as retail clients maximized the final days of holiday sales, optimizing messaging, promotions, and BOPIS tactics in anticipation of shipping cut-offs, continued competition, and tapered demand.
- Acquisition tactics continue to win with strong year over year revenue growth as consumers continue to try new brands and retailers, likely driven by deals, delivery options, and inventory availability.
- Retail clients utilizing Buy Online, Pick-up In Store (BOPIS) fulfillment models have seen greater than expected sales performance following shipping cutoffs.
- The most successful promotions leading up to shipping cutoffs were those highlighting free shipping and delivery by Christmas Eve if ordered before the cutoff dates. This urgent offer helped pull in last minute shoppers looking for delivery.
So what? Lean in to what has worked this holiday season with shifting consumer trends while finalizing plans for 2021. Develop strategies to retain and grow newly acquired clients beyond the holidays. Continue to listen to customers about how and where they are buying, and how you can improve the seamless shopping experience. This could include continued investments in hybrid and BOPIS fulfillment models.
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