The leaves may have just started to turn autumnal in the Northern parts of the country, but thanks to the global health pandemic, it’s not too early to start thinking about Holiday 2020 and your in-store retail and digital talent bench.
Christmas in October
Forecasters are predicting that consumers will begin shopping for the holidays in October. With Halloween another possible traditional celebration shelved by COVID, empty store shelves can display Holiday fare sooners. Even without this retail signal, shoppers themselves are psychologically ready to turn their sights toward the brighter, happier Holiday season instead. As a result, some forecasts suggest an even earlier holiday shopping start in mid-October.
Things vs. Experiences
With sheltering in place and hunkering down being the way of life for the foreseeable future, and travel restricted or unappealing at this time, consumers are predicted to turn to items as gifts. This will reverse the growing trend of the past several years of experience gifting. Consumers will be looking to redirect dollars earmarked for a family Disney trip to memorable and traditional gifts this season.
Scarcity & Shipping Shivers
After experiencing product scarcity and major shipping delays during the early weeks of the pandemic, shoppers may be anxious about getting the pick of the gifts they want delivered on time. This will drive early shopping. Brands need to prepare for this with both messaging and operational tactics.
Shop Online, Pick Up in Store
An opportunity for retailers to drive traffic into brick and mortar is to encourage shoppers to buy online but pick up in store or curb-side. Not only does this support a COVID-safer approach, but it allays any concerns about product scarcity and shipping delays. Companies need to take steps now to streamline their omnichannel approach so that the online and mobile experience aligns seamlessly with in-store. And safety-driven logistics require more in-store retail staff to do health screening/temp checks/sanitizer-armed greeters, curbside facilitators etc.
Pandemic-inspired Pop Ups
Open air markets and pop ups provide further opportunity to lure socially distancing and indoor-wary shoppers to shop safely in real life. Interacting with consumers beforehand to book shopping appointments to further secure the transaction may add a layer of complexity but an elevated level of customer service.
Virtual Is the Pandemic Reality
Helping safe-at-home consumers visualize their purchase in their lives requires adding essential virtual experiences online. Virtual fitting rooms, the option to visualize purchases in their home, better images of items to get a 360 view of their purchase etc. are all ways for brands to engage the customer virtually. All of these strategies require digital talent to deliver a better online consumer experience.
Trending Retail Talent for the Season
All of these potential scenarios require hiring retail talent to deliver a memorable, positive shopper experience. As specialized recruiters not only in Retail but also Digital Marketing and Tech, we are seeing an uptick in demand for the following:
In Store Retail Talent:
Omni channel management
Like everything in 2020, the Holiday Season will be different and disrupted. Capturing share of wallet during the holiday months requires strategic talent management and implementation today. Click here for more insights.