For retailers, from those that sell major appliances and technology gadgets to those that sell clothing and accessories, the holidays can be crucial, often representing a significant portion of revenue. But the COVID-19 pandemic has created many disruptions – among them, the need for many to spend more time at home and away from stores. So what does this mean for retailers this holiday season?

CapTech asked US consumers about their shopping habits on Black Friday last year, and how they anticipated shopping this year in the midst of the pandemic. We found that two thirds of consumers shopped on Black Friday in 2019, and roughly the same amount plan to shop on Black Friday this year. But far fewer plan to shop in store, and many more shoppers plan to shop exclusively online.

This isn’t surprising. Many consumers are reluctant to wait in long lines or rush into a crowded Big Box; they prefer to shop from the comfort of their own home. And we anticipate this won’t just be on Black Friday – it will likely last throughout the 2020 Holiday Season.

Adapting To The Need

How can retailers respond to these changing need and preferences and, most importantly, create a desirable customer experience? Retailers should leverage technology to create engagement and drive sales this season. In this article, CapTech offers four tech-savvy suggestions for retailers – creating a virtual shopping experience using AR and VR, gamifying online shopping to simulate the competition shoppers often experience getting the best deals, experimenting with curbside pick-up and delivery options, and using appointment scheduling apps to create a safer environment for those who choose to shop in store.

No doubt it will be a very different year. But by enhancing the customer’s digital experience will likely make for a much happier holiday season.

Jon Bradway

Jon Bradway

Atlanta Office Co-Lead, Principal

Jon helps clients leverage technology, data, content, and agile operations to create new strategies, products, consumer interaction points, and business models in alignment with the total Customer Experience (CX).

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