How to meet your customers’ holiday shopping needs in 2020

Vice President, Audience Engagement

Retailers have been shifting to e-commerce options for years as consumer needs and lifestyles have evolved. Before 2020, it was a competitive advantage to provide customers with multiple ways to shop; today, it is a necessary expectation. Our world has been turned upside down and we continue to feel the impact of this pandemic. While retailers cannot erase health concerns, they can do their part to create a safe, flexible shopping environment offering customers what they need most—positivity and solutions.

What Consumers Want for Holiday Shopping in 2020

Fewer stops. This is a common theme among today’s consumers; whether it’s an elderly guest, a parent with young children, or a socially responsible individual looking to limit exposure, shoppers want convenience as we move into the gift-giving season. As CNBC recently reported, consulting firm Deloitte found in its annual survey that consumers are planning to visit just 5.2 retail stores on average. That’s down from 7 last year, 6.9 in 2018, and 5.7 in 2017. It marks a record low for the survey, which polled 4,012 consumers from September 9 to September 15.

As a retailer, what do you do when you have the foresight going into the holiday shopping season that consumers are making fewer stops? One solution: You bring one-stop shopping to them.

How Retailers Can Do Holiday Shopping Right

Tops Friendly Markets, a long-time FARM client and leading grocery retailer in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, did just that. They brought back the Tops Christmas Bonus, an incredibly popular annual promotion allowing customers to turn their grocery lists into gift lists. Tops shoppers save on gift cards to more than 23 restaurants and other retail stores just by shopping for their groceries, and continue earning Tops Gift Points from November 1 through December 24. They have multiple opportunities to purchase gift cards, splurge on a self-care treat, or spend the gift cards on their holiday shopping with an extra discount.

With just one stop, customers can knock out both their grocery and gift lists—the definition of 2020 flexibility.

Giving Your Customers What They Need Right Now

While we all want to stay safe, we are also clinging to a sense of normalcy and tradition that the holiday season brings. For many, that includes shopping and giving gifts, even if it looks and feels a little different.

As our Chief Strategy Officer Jeff Schaefer pointed out in his recent article, “With the pandemic restrictions likely to carry through the holiday season in most of the country, shopping malls and strip plazas are going to be significantly less trafficked than virtual storefronts this year.”

As much as we would all like to get back to our version of normal, for now, it’s the little things along the way that bring us joy and comfort. If you can still buy the gifts you want by shopping at one store and saving money, even if just for that one day, then you have found your own version of the 2020 adaptation.

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Jillian Cascarino
Vice President, Audience Engagement
As our vice president of audience engagement, Jillian puts her more than 20 years of experience connecting companies with their customers through targeted storytelling techniques to good use. Her expertise in customer engagement strategies and tactics extends to organic social media, content marketing, and public relations, as well as strategic planning and messaging, marketing persona development, and audience alignment. When she’s not working, Jillian’s baking sweet treats for family and friends, tending to her garden, or playing board games with her husband and son.

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