The 2020 holiday shopping season will make history. Not because of record-breaking sales or achieving predictions made in the pre-COVID era, but because it will look so different from seasons past. That makes forecasting and subsequent operational planning nearly impossible. Restricted travel, shipping capacity strains, unpredictable lockdowns, political unease, store closures, and heightened concerns over health and safety will shape the season.
There’s no doubt the pandemic is changing retail, from a flood of new digital consumers to requirements for contactless experiences. In Q2 2020 alone, digital commerce grew 71%. And with Prime Day in October versus its traditional July advent, there will be a seismic shift in retail demand that’s earlier than ever this holiday season. As retailers plan for the busiest shopping period of the year, an extra understanding of what shoppers need, extra thoughtful communication, and extra ways to shop will go a long way.