consumer behaviour marketing shopping trends 2020 trends small business holidays 2020 customer trends

2020 was a very different year, to put things kindly. It changed everything – especially consumer behaviour. And with changed behaviour comes changed shopping habits.

Just reflect on your year for a moment. Yes, you’re a business owner, but we’re all also customers to someone. What did you spend more (or less) money on this year compared to years in the past?

We’ll look at some 2020 trends and dissect how they affect consumer behaviour and why that should matter to you. Also, we’ll show you how to adapt to them in order to maximize your marketing and grow your sales.

1. Mobile Matters

Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. We’re not sure if you heard us so let us repeat that… MOBILE! MOBILE! MOBILE! Americans are expected to spend $28.1 billion more this year on their smartphones compared to 2019. To put things in perspective, that’s 42% of all online sales. So, make sure your mobile site experience is truly seamless to capitalize on this shift.

It’s an unfortunate reality, but doomscrolling is a thing now. We’re talking about people’s tendency to endlessly scroll on their phones while consuming the negative news 2020 has served us on a platter. Brands are aware of this behavior and you need to be too. Go to where the eyeballs are, and right now that’s platforms that offer infinite scrolling like TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and Reddit. If you’re not already running ads on these platforms, consider doing so these holidays to take advantage of this trend.

2. Ship It On Time

During eleven out of twelve months of the year, free shipping is typically the main factor that contributes to closing a sale. However, this isn’t the case for the holidays. A combined 68% of people said avoiding crowds and getting their gifts on time were more important than free shipping and delivery.

So make sure navigating through your website for the right gifts is as easy as possible and that you work with your couriers to offer expedited shipping – even if it has to come at a cost.

With most of the world working remotely, electronics are expected to be the top industry for gift sales this year. Another industry to watch out for is home/lifestyle as people are increasingly spending more time in their homes with aims of improving their now living and work spaces.

What does this mean for you? If you sell tech products or home products you’re going to be busier than ever. If you don’t sell those products, see if you can change up the copy on your site to sell the idea of your products helping improve life within the home. Speak to the insight of people trying to mix up their living spaces and stay busy within their own four walls.

4. Supply Shortages

It’s been a record breaking year for online sales. That means it’s also been a record breaking year for shipping and delivery. In order to avoid delays, get in touch with your fulfillment centre ASAP to get everything in order before shipments need to go out. Also, don’t forget to update your shipping and delivery options to include contact-free drop offs/curbside pickup.

consumer behaviour marketing shopping trends 2020 trends small business holidays 2020 customer trends


1. A New Bar Set for E-commerce

Every year we seem to see a slight increase in the amount of holiday sales attributed to digital. This year however, we’re expecting a huge surge due to changed consumer behaviour. Predictions of holiday sales taking place through digital channels are around 30%, compared to just 23% in 2019. Getting your site optimized for the holiday rush on desktop and mobile are integral to you capitalizing on this new precedent.

2. From Stores to Warehouses

Brick and mortar stores may not be full of shoppers this year, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to go unused. Since store owners are locked into their leases we’re predicting a shift from storing product in warehouses to actually using stores for fulfillment. This is a great way for you to reduce your cost this year and be able to get some function out of your store if you were operating one.

3. Last-Mile Problems

So we mentioned that shipping constraints are likely going to be a problem this year, but just how much of a problem? Well, about 700 million little problems. That’s how many packages are expected to be delayed these holidays. Most of these constraints will arise in the “last-mile”, which is the stretch of delivery between the courier and the package’s final destination. So try to manage your customers expectations this year when it comes to delivery.

The world changed. Consumer behaviour with it. Now you have to change the way you market your business and products. With the right knowledge and swiftness in response, you’re sure to succeed these holidays. So remember:

  • Have your site seamlessly transition to mobile
  • Shipping stuff on time is more important than free shipping
  • Tech and home improvement items are big sellers
  • Do everything you can to try to minimize shipping constraints

These are all small fixes that will have big impacts on your sales.