Understanding Holiday Shoppers
Updated: Mar 3
The holiday season is finally upon us. For small business owners, this time of year can be a bit busy and stressful, yet also exciting. During the holiday season, there’s a change in shoppers' usual buying behaviors. During this season, they're probably shopping for others, have a budget, and/or have limited time to shop. Especially since there are fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. As a business owner, understanding and adjusting to the changes in behavior is essential to having a prosperous season.
Shopping online vs in store
The number of those shops online versus in the store is now almost even, 41% shop online while 47% shop in store. There's no stopping online shoppers as they continue to grow in numbers. So why do so many people shop online? Those who do the majority of shopping online are 18-24 years old and prefer it because of the convenience it offers.
Throughout the year, online shoppers tend to just browse, however, during the holiday season they have an intent to make a purchase. This means that business owners can expect less abandon carts and an increase in the time users spend on their website. That’s why having a strong website that is compatible across all devices and search engines is so important.
With the convenience that online shopping offers, it’s becoming more difficult to get people into the store. Customers agree that they are more inclined to shop at a store when given an experience. That’s why so many stores are working to create an atmosphere that is unique and engaging.
Influences on shopping behavior
It’s no surprise that many shoppers are on a budget during the holiday season. That’s why the largest influence on where they shop depends on stores with better pricing. Many seek out offers and discounts when making a purchase decision. This is great to keep in mind when planning your holiday promotions.
The second largest influence is brand loyalty. Shoppers like to stick to what they know and repurchase what/where they have in the past. The loyalty that they have with a business has been developed over time through positive experiences. When shopping for others, they continue to be brand loyal unless the products that they’re searching for are not sold by those retailers. As a business owner, this time of the year is a great opportunity to develop and establish relationships with new customers. A great way to do this is through giving excellent customer service, offering a loyalty program, and/or giving perks such as free shipping or free gift with purchase.
When deciding on a new store or product to shop, millennials, especially like to be knowledgeable and do their research. The internet has given them the opportunity to share their experiences with others. Reviews allow others to make a judgement on whether something is worth their time and money. That’s why making sure that a customer has a good experience and/or is satisfied with the product is more important than ever.