Three predictions for festive season shopping in 2020

The 2020 festive season will be unlike any other. After a challenging year, people are ready to relax and celebrate, but their traditions will look very different this year in the wake of the pandemic.

People still want to feel the excitement of the season as they practice social distancing and avoid crowds. That’s why online shopping and deal hunting will play a big role in keeping the spirit of the festive season alive.

At Criteo, we regularly survey consumers and look at data from billions of transactions across the advertisers who work with us. We’ve already seen consumers purchasing online at high rates across many product categories, and we expect this behavior to continue throughout the festive season.

With more people shopping online, every business—no matter how large or small—can attract new customers and increase sales. Criteo data shows some big opportunities for online stores to grow their business this year.

Here you’ll find our three predictions to help small businesses plan for the festive season. Don’t forget to download our Criteo Product Ads module for PrestaShop, available in the Addons Marketplace or in your Back Office, to take full advantage of our tips! 

>> Download the Criteo Product Ads Module

Prediction #1: Ecommerce will influence every step in the customer journey 

In-store shopping won't be the same this year as retailers continue to limit crowds and reduce store hours. For their safety and convenience, festive shoppers are doing more—and in some cases all—of their shopping online. 

As a result, shoppers are leaning on ecommerce at every stage of the customer journey, including discovery, consideration, and conversion. For example, rather than browsing the aisles of their favorite stores, they’re searching and browsing ecommerce sites for the perfect gifts.

In Criteo’s “Peak to Recovery” study, we surveyed 10,000+ European consumers to find out how the pandemic changed the way they shop, and 84% said they planned to continue purchasing gifts online and sending them directly to recipients.1 

Criteo’s transaction data also shows how much more consumers are shopping online today compared to last year. For example, online retail sales in Europe were 18% higher year-over-year during the week of August 3-9, 2020.2 We expect even larger year-over-year increases as the peak shopping season progresses. 

What This Means: There is a massive volume of consumers shopping online and discovering new brands and products. Find new audiences most likely to be interested in your products and connect with them throughout the festive season.

Prediction #2: New customers will stay loyalty beyond the festive season 

In our survey, we asked European consumers where they shopped during lockdowns. When we asked if they discovered any new ecommerce sites:

Three predictions for festive season shopping in 2020

  • 38% purchased from some online stores for the first time during the peak of COVID-19 
  • 26% discovered brands selling their products directly to consumers 
  • 28% discovered small merchants that they didn’t previously know about
  • 83% said they’re likely to keep purchasing from the new stores they discovered1 

This data shows that online shoppers in 2020 are visiting and buying from all types of websites. The festive season will amplify this shopping behavior as consumers seek out meaningful gifts to send to their family and friends, allowing businesses of all sizes to increase website traffic and online sales.

Better yet, the majority of consumers said they’ll keep buying from new online stores if they’re happy with the products and the experience.1 

What This Means: Create a great shopping experience through personalization. Recommend products to consumers based on their behaviors and interests. Once you acquire a new customer, re-engage them and show them more products they’ll love to gain their loyalty.

Prediction #3: new lifestyles will change consumers’ shopping lists 

Just like shopping behaviors are changing, so will the products on consumers’ festive season shopping lists as they settle into their new lifestyles.

More people are working, learning, exercising, cooking, and even “staycationing” at home this year, and the most popular products and sought-after gifts reflect these lifestyle changes. For example, comfortable clothing and loungewear is a more appropriate gift than formalwear this year.

According to Criteo’s transaction data, sales have been spiking across product categories like consumer electronics, sporting goods, toys and games, and furniture so consumers have what they need for work, education, and fun at home.

In our survey, 47% of European consumers said the crisis period was a good opportunity to make lifestyle changes.

Three predictions for festive season shopping in 2020

Consumers are shopping for gifts that fit in the lives of their family and friends and therefore, these product categories should keep growing throughout the festive season.

What This Means: Don’t look at last year’s festive season sales to determine what will happen in 2020. Look at how consumers’ lives have changed and what products they’re browsing and buying at this moment to anticipate your bestselling products for the festive season. (Visit the Criteo Product Insights Finder to see sales trends across 600 product categories.)

Make the Most of the Festive Season with the Criteo Product Ads Module 

The Criteo Product Ads Module helps PrestaShop merchants grow their online stores. Drive new visitors to your website and bring back recent buyers with digital ads tailored for every shopper. As consumers browse the internet, they’ll see ads with personalized product recommendations based on what they previously browsed and purchased across the internet. 

>> Download the Criteo Product Ads module today!

Want more tips to help you prepare for the festive season? Download our guide here

Criteo “Peak to Recovery” Survey. Criteo surveyed 16,244 respondents having experienced partial or complete lockdown at any point within the past few months across 15 countries between May 13 and June 18, 2020 (10,397 in EMEA). Respondents were asked to evaluate how forced social distancing had affected their daily habits and how they envisaged returning to normal. The sample is representative of the populations of the respective countries by age and gender (ethnicity in the US). 

Data from retailers in 22 European countries, 2019 and 2020, Criteo. 

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