5 Shifts in Shopping Behaviour for Christmas 2020

While there’s no question that Christmas will look a little different this year, it will continue to be a period of peak demand and a critical time for retailers to analyse and strategise shopping behaviour to connect with customers.

More than ever, shoppers are turning online to browse, explore, research, and buy – creating an opportunity for retailers to be discovered, grow their eCommerce offering, and help shoppers find the information and products they need.

In this guide, you will discover 5 shifts in shopping behaviour for retailers to take action on right now.

1. Be ready for a month-long Cyber Monday

Social distancing measures have changed how, when, and where people shop.

This Christmas is no exception. Shoppers are planning to start their Christmas shopping earlier, which will extend the usual Cyber Monday and Cyber Week timelines.

With many people staying at home, people are turning online more than ever to browse, explore, research, and buy. And while deal-seeking behaviour is not new, COVID-19 has led to an increase in shoppers looking for value in terms of quality and price.

How to be ready:

Think beyond peak days and prepare for an extended period of Christmas shopping and deal-seeking. Capture early and late shoppers by setting adequate budgets and competitive targets for your advertising campaigns.

Get your on-sale items discovered by deal-seekers. Shoppers are more price-conscious this year. Maximise the exposure of your ongoing sales and Christmas deals with sales prices and promotions.

2. Be ready for digital newcomers driving growth

As many cities have paused or reversed their reopening plans, shoppers are reverting to the safety of online shopping. This year, shoppers plan to shop online for Christmas more than in previous years, with more people going online to browse and buy for the very first time.

How to be ready:

Create a frictionless digital shop for customers going online to research, browse, or buy from your website or app.

Improve your online shopping experience and improve your mobile site speed with Test My Site. Implement deeplinking within your apps to deliver seamless experiences across your website and app.

Connect with shoppers. It’s now free to list your products on Google to reach the hundreds of millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs.

3. Be ready for a skew toward online SKUs

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen an increase in searches for inspiration, ideas, comparisons, and online shopping.

During Christmas, this will mean more purchase decisions will be made online, regardless of whether the items will be delivered to your home, collected from your shop, or picked up at the curb.

Search trends reveal a big shift in how customers expect to interact with brick-and-mortar shops. With more decisions being made online, shops are increasingly seeing reduced transactions.

Often, by the time customers enter your shop, they’ve already decided what they’re buying.

How to be ready:

Monitor consumer trends and understand demand in real-time. Configuring insights helps you understand what shoppers are looking for across products, brands, and categories.

Use your transaction reports to help you identify the most popular brands and products to use for ads, while using retail reporting to let learn what your customers are searching for across your campaigns.

Bring the best of your shop online. Update your Business Profile on Google with information about opening hours, shopping options like curbside pickup, and safety attributes.

Promote items that are available for shop pickup using localised ads and reconnect nearby customers to your shop with local campaigns.

4. Be ready for the purpose-driven shopper

Consumer research has also shown that shoppers are increasingly using their purchasing power as a way to support businesses with shared values.

With more choices than ever before, consumers can align their purchase decisions with companies that have ethical practices and similar beliefs.

How to be ready:

Let customers know what your business has to offer through Google My Business attributes. You can add attributes such as “Black owned,” “women-led,” or “LGBTQ-friendly” to help you stand out to customers who find your business on Google.

Google searches for “support local businesses” grew by over 20,000% since last year

Google Data, Global English, Jul 1, 2020 – Aug 29, 2020 vs Jul 1, 2019 – Aug 29, 2019

Stand out to customers searching for you with the local opportunity finder. By analysing your free Business Profile on Google, the tool offers ways to improve your business’s online presence across Search and Maps to ensure customers are able to find you.

5. Be ready for something new & something known

During COVID-19, we’ve seen that nearly a third of shoppers have purchased from a brand that was new to them. Going into the Christmas period, shoppers will continue to be open to the new retailers and brands that they are increasingly finding online.

Searches for “online clothing stores” have increased 100% globally year-over-year

Google Data, Global English, Mar 18 – May 16, 2020 vs Mar 18 – May 16, 2019

While many shoppers are open to buying from new brands and retailers, some will prefer what’s already familiar to them. Whether you’re selling to new or repeat customers, actionable brand formats can help you reach potential customers.

How to be ready:

Help people discover your brand and products through immersive formats.

Showcase Shopping ads let you group a selection of related products and present them to introduce your brand or business. Immersive creative videos can help build awareness and differentiate your brand with shoppers across Google.

Discovery Ads can help you drive action with up to 3 billion users monthly on YouTube, Discover, and Gmail. Feeds in app campaigns surface images of your most popular items as ads on apps and sites in Google’s network.

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