2020 Christmas Shopping Trends are Emerging

Now that we’re officially in December and we’re coming out of month-long Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals, analysts are able to release information about early gift shopping trends. Budgets are tighter and more consumers are shopping online than ever before, meaning that it’s very important for retailers to build their last-minute promotions and campaigns around the items that shoppers really want this year.


Consumers Want their Dollars to Make a Difference

2020 has totally altered the relationship between buyers and sellers. Because so many small businesses have struggled through the pandemic, shoppers are more interested in shopping small and local this year so that their money is reinvested back into the community. They understand that the holiday shopping season can make or break many mom-and-pop businesses that may be hanging on by a thread, and consumers want to do their part to support entrepreneurs that need it the most.

Additionally, the Black Lives Matter protests from the summer have left a lasting impact on many consumers’ approach to shopping. Shoppers are making a point to support minority-owned shops, with Accenture reporting that 4 out of 10 survey respondents indicated that they planned to shop at these types of businesses during the holiday season. The same percentage of respondents said that they also planned to shop at retailers that support the Black Lives Matter movement, so corporations that made promises months ago need to start making visible moves towards meeting their targets – whether that means donating a part of their proceeds to relevant nonprofits, establishing grants, reserving more shelf space for Black-owned brands, or making positive changes to diversity hiring initiatives.


Personalized Presents

According to the CEO of Etsy, the most-searched term on their platform this year has been “personalized gifts,” indicating that consumers who feel that they’re missing their usual opportunities for connection with loved ones are looking to imbue their gifts with more meaning.

“Large [online retailers] like Amazon are great to buy things that are very cheap and arrive very fast, and you use them and you’ve forgotten about them two seconds later and then they’re in a landfill,” CEO Josh Silverman told CNBC. “I think there’s always a need for things that are going to be cheap and arrive fast, but more and more I think people want an alternative to that, when they want that product to mean something to them, when they want it to feel special.”

Personalized family ornaments, home accessories, and even face masks are predicted to be bestsellers on the platform this year. Outside brands should use this as an opportunity to play up special coordinated gifts (such as buying matching pajamas/sweaters/blankets for the whole family), as well as gifts that allow loved ones to make special memories in the pandemic (think games, shared activities, etc.).

We’ve got some time before the Christmas shopping season really peaks, but it’s important for brands to understand these early trends so that they have an idea of what to expect for the rest of the season. Additionally, no one is really sure how much longer the pandemic is going to last – shopping behaviors at Christmas can give brands great insight into how consumers are approaching gifting for the rest of lockdown, from birthdays to anniversaries and virtual graduations. The shopping landscape is more competitive than ever, and gift trends will play a big role in who comes out on top.


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