Monday, 23 november 2020 | Brenda Rodríguez López
In the days before Christmas, there is usually a pre-festive atmosphere that can be recognized by the smell of fine food and a range of barely suppressed emotions. Streets glow under thousands of colorful lights, store windows look flashier than ever, Christmas carols prepare citizens for the day that is about to come,... We almost breathe happiness! It is possible, we will not deny it, that our memories seem even sweeter now, given that this Christmas may be a little sadder and less showy than the previous ones. Perhaps it is better to remember how, in other years, the streets seemed to narrow in some cases due to the number of people who gathered in the same place, how the stores were crowded creating stressful situations or how some individuals, once again, waited until the last minute to buy their gifts with a mixture of haste and clumsiness. Even so, they are not bad memories after all, aren’t they?
Today, on our blog, we talk about what we can expect from next Christmas shopping.
Apart from the obvious health and economic consequences, the coronavirus pandemic has brought about a lot of uncertainty. Predictions are really difficult to make in such a volatile and complex context. This means that, more than ever, we must cling to the things we do know. If we extrapolate this to this Christmas season, we must focus more on what we have experienced in recent months rather than on what we know about the last Christmas campaigns.
We have probably changed more as customers in recent months than in the last years. The data indicates that we buy more online, are more concerned about local businesses, make compulsive purchases due to anxiety, pay more attention to the decoration and renovation of our homes, and so on. Not to mention the financial situation some people are going through and the impact this has on their shopping behaviors.
What we do know about this Christmas season
The season is longer:
This year’s Christmas season kicked off on Amazon Prime Day, which was celebrated with delay in October (it is usually celebrated in summer). In a few days, we will experience another similar event: Black Friday. This date already meant for many an advance of the Christmas season, but this year brands have also started the discount period earlier. This has been their way of adapting to the times we are living in.
What does this mean? A longer season leads us to thinking that purchases will be more separate among them. Not all people will do their Christmas shopping in November, but many will take advantage of Black Friday to buy gifts. In fact, many of them already did it in past years, but the uncertainty of what will happen this Christmas may lead more people to doing so. On the other hand, more Black Friday days means more days of discounts and, therefore, more competition (if there wasn’t enough already…). The most forward-thinking customers will buy now. They will also do so those who usually get more carried away by emotions and make more impulsive purchases.
The shopping experience is different:
There is still a lot of uncertainty about what exactly will happen this Christmas season: will capacity be reduced in stores? Will shops be allowed to open? Will we be able to visit our family and give them our presents? Whatever the answers are, we know one fact: this season will be different and that will logically affect the shopping experience.
Shopping the days before Christmas is quite an experience. Lights, music or decoration are details that also affect our mood and our way of shopping. In turn, this year safety will be a priority. This has been indicated by studies on consumers and new reality carried out by the consultancy KPMG. This will make us both sell and buy differently. In fact, we are already doing it: online advance purchases, contactless deliveries, prior appointments for purchases, etc.
Last week, Javier Ontiveros, CEO at Quid Qualitas and professor at this business school, gave a seminar on our social networking sites where he discussed the shopping experience. In this case, he explained how technology helps drive customer experience. We highly recommend watching it. Without a doubt, thinking and paying attention to clients and the experience they are having may make a difference in this uncertain and complex times.