The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way many aspects of society function. From attending school to going to restaurants, there is a clear shift in the way activities are occurring. The retail industry ought to be included in the long list of industries experiencing a shift. So then, with the holiday season around the corner, how will retail trends shift?

The retail industry has been one of the few industries to remain strong despite the virus, with a growth rate of 4.1% in 2020. So, it is clear that the retail industry will remain intact. But it is also important to analyze the trends for the upcoming holiday retail season. Among these include early shopping, an increase in online shopping, warnings about delayed shipping, and a shift in types of gifts.

Firstly, consumers can expect to begin their holiday shopping much earlier than they typically do. One study found that three out of ten consumers are starting their shopping early according to Coresight Research. This is good news for stores as early shopping can help to attenuate the risks of logistical issues.

Next, there has been a substantial increase in online shopping. As coronavirus continues to be a problem with some areas experiencing a spike in cases, many Americans are turning to online outlets to complete their shopping. According to Deloitte, there will be a surge in e-commerce sales at a factor of 25% to 35%. This can present an issue for retailers who do not have advanced e-commerce platforms. As such, adapting and innovating to the current times is vital.

A significant threat that must be kept in mind is delayed shipping. Not only has the coronavirus pandemic put a strain on supply chains, but now the surge in e-commerce as aforementioned will lead to a spike in shipping demands. As such, it is important for consumers to factor delayed shipping times into their shopping plans.

Finally, market research predicts a change in some of the types of gifts purchased. In 2019, 12% of holiday purchases were made on services such as food, travel, or sporting events. With coronavirus, many of these industries have changed or are no longer offering services. As such, many consumers are shifting to more retail-based products.

Though coronavirus has fundamentally changed the way consumers are shopping, it is good news that people are still shopping despite the recession. The most important thing for businesses to remember at this time is the importance of adapting and innovating amidst uncertain times.

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