Holiday sales 2020 prospects remain high for the most prepared small businesses despite COVID-19, a recent Visa study reveals.
The Visa Back to Business Study: Holiday Edition finds that despite the pandemic, 88% of consumers plan to go holiday shopping this year. For the report, Visa surveyed people in eight markets, including the US, Canada, and Germany.
A majority of consumers plan to still go on holiday shopping
That is in line with the sentiment from small businesses. Visa finds that 68% of them consider the winter holiday season as a major sales opportunity for their business.
What’s more, Visa finds that 60% of owners of small and medium business owners are preparing for holiday sales 2020 opportunities. Many are taking steps to go digital, Visa adds.
Holiday Consumer Insights
For the report, Visa reveals what consumers shared about where, how, and what they are buying.
Of the 88% that plan to do holiday shopping, 48% say they intend to do most of their shopping in-person. That’s compared to 26% who say they will shop mostly online. The same say they will shop both in-person and online.
Past online shopping seems to be a good predictor of future online shopping. Of the people who have shopped online during the pandemic, 59% say they will buy half of more of their holiday shopping in 2020 online.
Meanwhile, shoppers are leaning towards gifts that give the recipient more flexibility. Consumers expect to give more digital gift cards (32% more); tickets, activities, or trips (19% more); and entertainment (18% more).
Seizing Holiday Sales 2020 Opportunities
To seize holiday sales 2020 opportunities, Visa recommends three courses of action. These are:
Be in position
Visa recommends offering consumers more convenience, safety and flexibility in their shopping experience. This could increase the likelihood of the holiday season paying-off, it says.
There's a stark difference in optimism of the holiday season opportunity between businesses that have an online presence versus those that don't.
Visa found that 76% of SMBs with an online presence, like e-commerce, see the winter holiday season as a sales opportunity. Of those without an online presence, only 33% of businesses were equally optimistic.
Visa says that 27% of businesses surveyed expect to extend their business hours. That’s to prepare for the holiday sales 2020 surge.
Meanwhile, 26% are digitizing their business operations. Furthermore, 19% are investing more in physical infrastructure. All of these steps are to prepare the business for the holiday rush.
Visa finds that 76% of SMBs say they are prepared to handle the influx of sales in the holiday season. However, that confidence only comes if the SMBs are prepared in the first place.
In the US, 69% of businesses surveyed consider the holiday season a top sales opportunity. However, 14% say they are not prepared to take on the surge that’s expected.
Some 24% of businesses in the US expect to extend their business hours to prepare for the holiday rush. On the other hand, 20% are digitizing part of their business operations. The same are investing more in physical infrastructure.
In terms of consumers, 86% of Americans say they will shop this holiday season. Some 60% say they will do more than half of their shopping at local retailers.
Visa finds that 60% of Americans plan to shop half or more online. Some 32% said they will plan to shop mostly online. In contrast, 20% plan to shop exclusively in-person.