Digital Strategies for Holiday Shopping in 2020

Chad Howard


If you’re anything like me, when you imagine the start to the holiday season, you envision shoppers lined up in front of stores for Black Friday deals. But we know shopping this year is going to be very different. More than a third of U.S. shoppers who normally shop in store for Black Friday say they won’t this year. And half of U.S. shoppers say the pandemic will affect how they’ll shop for the holidays. This makes it hard for retailers to plan as they normally would, in a time when they need a successful shopping season.

Customers will research and buy online even more

The holidays are a traditionally heavy online-shopping season. Last year, 79% of U.S. holiday shoppers used three or more online channels for their shopping needs. This year, we expect those numbers to grow, as almost 75% of U.S. shoppers said they will shop online more for the holidays compared to previous seasons, and a similar number said they would browse for gift ideas online and not in store.

Retailers should ensure digital strategies are in place

That means it will be vital for retailers to be discoverable online. To make your products discoverable, be sure that you have a targeted display campaign and a proper search strategy for your product and service offerings. Businesses should also prepare for more online traffic by optimizing their websites for speed and user experience. It’s also a wise decision to make your products available for purchase on social platforms when possible.

People will seek safer, digitized ways of shopping

Prior to the pandemic, the in-store shopping experience often began long before shoppers arrived at a store. This is truer today, as availability and local convenience has become a priority. In fact, 70% of shoppers said they plan to confirm online that an item is in stock before going to buy it. Plus, searches for “available near me” have grown globally by more than 100% since last year, reinforcing the importance of a proper search and keyword strategy. To alleviate the guesswork for shoppers, ensure your information is up to date and easily accessible online.

While this holiday season is one we will be watching closely, it’s helpful to know that shoppers will be thinking — and buying — with a digital-first mindset. To stand out this year, ensure you’re giving people the information they need and the experience they expect. 

At TOPS we want to ensure you have a proper digital strategy in place for a successful shopping season. Reach out to us at [email protected] for a Free digital consultation.