A COVID Christmas
2020 has been a tough year, with COVID-19 on all our minds most of the time. Fortunately, it’s almost over. That means the Holiday Season is upon us! But what can we expect from the holiday season that marks the end of an eventful 2020?
Well, it depends on whether you’re buying or selling. For most people, theirs is the former. And this season means going out shopping, travelling to see friends and family, and an overall good time. The effects of the pandemic will likely have a bearing on all of these. Since everyone is masking up and staying home, not as many people are walking to the mall to buy gadgets and gifts for their loved ones. This has led to a sharp increase in the number of people shopping online. In everything from food to clothing, the masses are going digital, ordering food online via mobile apps, browsing clothing, looking for their next phone, and making the most of platforms like AfriDelivery, eBay and Amazon for their shopping needs. As far as travel is concerned, restrictions are likely to keep people grounded and unable to travel too far. This might imply less festivities and fewer get-togethers.
However, all this spending requires money. Something which has been a bit scarcer than most households would like this year. This is mainly due to the series of contractions the global economy has experienced; caused by the pandemic. Public health regulations led to lockdowns, which prohibited consumers from buying. The ultimate result was that demand declined and firms had less money to keep running, which in turn led to less money for households to spend.
Speaking of firms and businesses, retailer habits are also scheduled for a change. In response to changes in shopper habits due to pandemic restrictions, retailers are also readying themselves for the festive season, under the context of 2020. The increases in online shopping from consumers has led retailers to go digital. Opening ecommerce sites, selling on pre-existing ecommerce platforms or even using platforms like Facebook to reach their consumer base. In tandem, delivery and logistic vendors are rising to the task, expanding the scale, scope and flexibility of their services. The introduction of logistics adds a new dimension to holiday shopping; as we go into the festive period, we can expect that due to logistics and delivery times, consumers are likely to start shopping early. This, in turn, means retailers will need to ensure inventory is available early enough to meet the festive demand.
What happens after? History has shown us that most technologies that gain traction, quickly turn into habit. This means it’s rather likely that the move to online shopping is here to stay. 2021 is set to see a continuation in the trend of going cyber, and see growth in the ecommerce and deliveries industries. Both consumers and retailers will continue along the trajectory of online services, and online vendors will opt to improve this sphere, attracting any who weren’t sufficiently coerced into it by the 2020 pandemic.