▷We try to predict the festive market in the middle of COVID-19

    Observing the consumer behavior from the electronic transactions, high traffic is seen in many different product categories and it is expected that this trend will continue throughout the festive period. Here is a huge opportunity for online stores, small and large, to attract new customers, as much of the consumption is now done online.

    So we will see three forecasts for this season in order to help mainly the smaller online stores.

    Prediction one: e-commerce will affect every step of the way for the consumer

    Shopping in physical stores will not be the same as before, as retail is constantly under pressure to reduce the number of people in the store at the same time, but also to reduce opening hours (to achieve a smaller crowd). Consumer shopping will simply be done electronically and will “wander” in the digital shop windows to find the right gifts.

    The findings of a recent European survey of more than 10,000 consumers show that the pandemic has changed consumer habits, but will not curb the buying of gifts for relatives and friends. They will buy them electronically and send them directly to the recipients.

    At the same time, market data comparing last year’s and this year’s online turnover are revealing: in Europe, retail sales rose 18% by August (year to date) and are expected to increase further as the season progresses.

    What does this mean in practice: the online shift will help brands and products become known and increase their sales. Find and target new audiences who may be interested in your products and give them new impetus.

    Prediction two: new customers will remain loyal customers after the holidays

    The survey asked European consumers who did their shopping during the lockdown. See what they answered when asked if they discovered new online stores:

    • 38% bought electronics for the first time due to COVID-19
    • 26% discovered brands that sold directly to the consumer
    • 28% discovered stores they did not know
    • 83% said they would continue shopping from the stores they discovered

    The survey data also show that there is buying traffic in all categories of stores. The festive season will reinforce this behavior as consumers seek out important gifts for their loved ones, relatives and friends, helping online stores increase their traffic and turnover.

    What will keep consumers in a store and turn them into loyalists, is of course (beyond product adequacy) the shopping experience.

    What does this mean: create an unforgettable shopping experience through personalization. One way is to suggest products based on their interests and behavior.

    When you get a customer, make sure you keep them and reactivate them by showing them products they will like. Increasing customer loyalty is the cheapest and easiest way to increase profits.

    Prediction three: new lifestyles will change consumers’ shopping lists

    Purchasing behavior changes from time to time and is influenced by socio-economic conditions. Even now, because of the pandemic, the products on the consumer list are changing to suit new conditions and new lifestyles. More and more people are working, studying, exercising, etc. remotely and the products sold reflect this change.

    For example: comfortable clothes and items that make the house more comfortable, this year have their honor. Also, electronics, sports equipment, toys and board games and furniture have shown high traffic. The survey mentioned above also showed that 47% of European consumers saw the crisis period as an opportunity to change their lifestyle.

    Consumers buy gifts that will make the lives of their family and friends more comfortable, so the categories mentioned above will continue to grow during the festive shopping.

    What does this mean: The monitoring of last year’s statistics will not lead to safe conclusions for the forecast of this year’s movement. So, “read” the new trends and customize your online store accordingly to be present in the festive markets.

    In short and in conclusion, the increase in traffic to online stores has come to stay and surely satisfied customers will turn into loyal customers.

    Adapt your store to the new requirements and you will definitely not regret it.

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