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Who will sit on Santa's lap this year?

If you’re anything like me, when you envision holiday shopping, then you likely picture shoppers lined up before sunrise for Black Friday deals, congested stores, kids on Santa's lap, and virtually everything you want to avoid this Covid-19 riddled year. The data, and our intuition, suggests this holiday season will be entirely different, so both consumers and businesses must adapt.

According to Google research, more "than a third of U.S. shoppers who normally shop in store for Black Friday say they won’t this year". Additionally, "almost 75% of U.S. shoppers who plan to shop this season said they will shop online more for the holidays than they did in previous seasons, and a similar number said they would browse for gift ideas online and not in store". The National Retail Federation (NRF) is doing their part by launching a new campaign to encourage consumers to “Shop Safe, Shop Early” to help "support retail workers and your community."  

Consumers are ready to adapt, but are businesses? According to new research conducted by PayPal, "a quarter of fashion retailers have done nothing in response to buying trends being fueled by the pandemic." Let's hope Santa is ahead of the curve. According to Forbes, businesses this holiday season "need to capture consumers’ attention by having a strong social media strategy, getting their products into the hands of influencers and making sure their sales appear on popular sites for deals and coupons." Social Media Today notes "Pinterest usage increasing more than any other social network during the pandemic (outside of TikTok), it's worth taking a look, and considering why more people are turning to the platform for online shopping, and whether it might be a good fit for your brand."

If you are a consumer, stay home and leverage platforms such as Speakeasy Co, which enables you to purchase some of your favorite local craft brands on their respective websites. If you are a brand, start your sales early and invest in digital advertising to thrive in the new digital era. Santa, you might want to hide, since in Philadelphia they are going to lock you in a plexiglass snow globe.

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