Consumer optimism continues its holiday surge

As American small business continues to battle against daunting odds, it looks as if the American consumer is right along side which just may make for a positive holiday season for everyone.  In some recently published research from Square and Wakefield, it seems that consumers continue to be optimistic about shopping at stores. The following is taken from that recently published holiday research:

  • Survey findings from Square and Wakefield Research show that consumers and retailers primarily agree on how to stay safe and smoothly operating for the 2020 holiday season. Consumers signal an enhanced desire to shop local and support small business this season, while retailers predict e-commerce and pickup options will be key among shoppers.
  • Here were other key findings for the 2020 holiday shopping season, which we’ll explore in more depth throughout this report:
    • The majority of consumers (52%) are more likely to support small and local businesses this holiday season than they were last year.
    • Both retailers and consumers are aligned on mask requirements as their top safe-shopping measure – on average, 53% of shoppers want masks required in stores, and 48% of retailers are planning to enforce such a policy.
    • 71% of U.S. retailers offering online options are concerned about delays from shipping carriers causing items to arrive late – a concern shared by 63% of consumers.
    • Where do they disagree? While 56% of retailers expect many consumers to not shop in-store at all, consumers are undeterred: 79% of consumers feel safe shopping in a physical store.
    • 47% of consumers say they intend to give more e-gift cards this season, and Square data found that e-gift card sales on Black Friday increased by 115% and by 112% on Cyber Monday year-over-year.

  • 60% of survey respondents say they typically support small business in their holiday shopping all the time, often, or half the time and 52% of respondents indicated they would be more likely to support local and small businesses in the 2020 holiday shopping season.
  • Retailers and consumers are aligned on requiring masks in stores; both ranked it their top in-store shopping implementation for the 2020 holiday season. On average, 53% of shoppers want masks required in stores, and 48% of retailers are planning to implement such a policy.
  • 79% of respondents indicated they feel safe shopping in a physical store while 25% of respondents said they feel safer in local and small businesses versus big-box retailers.
  • 43% of retailers say they predict consumers will expect more items to be available for pickup this year.
  • 32% of consumers say a curbside pickup option makes them more comfortable shopping locally.
  • Only 22% of retailers said they don’t intend to offer an online shopping option for their customers.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer