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The 2020 holiday season is going to be…. Different. The usual hubbub of parties, travel, and in-store shopping will be drastically reduced. As much as we all miss normal life, it’s still not safe in most areas. That doesn’t mean we’re not going to go all-in on gifting and (virtual) merriment! Read on for the holiday shopping trends 2020 is projected to bring, and how creators can use them to double, triple, or even quadruple their Q4 earnings!
Popular Gifting Categories
With the rise in homeschooling & virtual school, tech retailers saw a huge uptick in remote learning tools like:
- Noise-canceling headphones
- Computer microphones
Other stay-at-home categories that have sold well all year, and will sell well in the 2020 holiday season:
- Home decor
- Home spa products
- Video game systems
- Board games
- Home exercise equipment
Mobile Shopping = Bigger Than Ever
Mobile shopping is expected to reach $284 billion in sales by the end of 2020, double that of 2015 (Business Insider). Ensuring you have lots of mobile-friendly content for your fans is KEY. Prep lots of:
- Text2Shop, so your fans can shop your product recs with one click on their phone
- ObsessedWith.It pages for every video & post
- ObsessedWith.It pages for gift categories: Tech Gifts, Gifts for Kids, etc
- Instagram Stories with swipe up to shop links
In Store, Online, Or… BOPIS?
A recent study by Criteo shows that BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In Store) more than doubled globally during the first months of the pandemic, and during the initial peak of CV19 in March-May, 39% of shoppers purchased at new-to-them online retailers, and 83% of those shoppers said they’re likely to keep purchasing from those brands.
Encourage your fans to shop through your links & select BOPIS, where available. Plus, the holidays are THE best time of year to diversify your usual linking behavior: Instead of just shopping for themselves, your fans are looking for gifts for everyone on their list, so they’re more open than ever to discovering cool new brands (which you recommend to them, natch).
A caveat: There may be increased return rates, potentially more returns than you’d see normally. More consumers will shop almost entirely online, and online purchases tend to be returned more than in-store purchases, because you can’t view an item in person before buying. To encourage online shopping, retailers are offering free return shipping and other return policy upgrades. So, your commission totals may fluctuate more than usual.
Budgets = Small. Discounts = Huge.
Many consumers will be working with a smaller budget, due to high unemployment rates, but they still want to treat friends & family to thoughtful gifts.
Everyone loves a good bargain, and the holidays are no exception. Expect a ton of discounts, coupons, and flash sales that are even deeper than previous years’ offers, since many retailers are on the edge of bankruptcy. Retailers will also be competing with one another to offer the fastest delivery options.
In rather stunning news, both Target and Walmart have stated their stores will NOT be open on Thanksgiving day, for the first time in years. Why? With the anticipated shipping delays for the holiday season, lots of brands will begin offering their holiday deals in early November. Early shopping is going to be the way to go this year, so get your content up now!
What can you do now? Take the time to follow some of the retailers you & your fans love on social media (and sign up for their customer emails), so you can jump on promoting short-term deals. Focus your attention on budget-friendly gift ideas, like dupes for more expensive items or DIY gifts.
Eco-friendly gifting (clean beauty, sustainably produced clothing, etc) and shipping options (i.e. carbon offsets, slower delivery times, recycled packaging) are increasingly important to shoppers.
Check the Sustainability Ratings on each individual retailer’s Retailer Ratings page, to see how they stack up.