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Online Trends

Published September 29th 2020

Consumers Have Ramped Up Preparation For The Holidays Early in 2020

How are consumers thinking about the holiday season this year, and what will be the impact for retailers?

2020 has been an unpredictable storm of chaos, so it’s not surprising that lots of people are completely done with it.

In fact, we found 2m mentions of classing 2020 as a write-off from January 1 to September 28 2020.

Using our Consumer Research platform to look at festive conversation, we’ve found that people are attempting to speed up the year by preparing for the holiday season early.

Let’s unwrap the data.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

When we looked at mentions of the holiday season since March, we found that consumers have been very busy planning their festivities. Some have even already begun shopping.

Comparing March 1 – September 28 2020 with the same period in 2019, this year has seen 23% more mentions of Christmas on social media.

What’s driving such early holiday mentions?

In short, it’s Covid-19.

Over the last six months, we found 1m mentions of Covid-19’s effects on the holiday season and 851k specifically on how it will impact family visits in the festive period.

Many talked about how they are preparing in advance this year. We also noted that lots of people want to make the most of their seasonal purchasing power.

There have been 576k mentions of holiday shopping through independent and small stores in the last six months. People are making and asking for recommendations much earlier in 2020 than in prior years, with lots of discussion about how small, independent, and local businesses have taken a big hit because of the pandemic.

We also found that safety in-store during the busiest retail months was a key concern for some folks. In the last six months there have been 188k mentions of beginning holiday shopping early to avoid the crowds towards the end of the year.

Savings all the way

Another likely reason why people are planning for the holidays so early this year is to spread the cost.

We used Brandwatch Qriously to ask 3,826 respondents from Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK, and the US about their spending plans for the 2020 holidays.

We found that the majority (54%) of respondents plan to spend less this year than they did last year. Meanwhile, 36% expect to spend around the same and just 10% say that they plan to spend more.

People are looking forward to spending more time with family over the festive season after an incredibly tough year. Retailers should expect festive shoppers early and be careful about assuming there will be any kind of shopping boom (either online or in-store) later in the year.

If you’re interested in this data and would like to know more, feel free to give us a shout on Twitter (@BW_React) or drop us a line at [email protected].

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