Shopping Less This Holiday Season?

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With the new pandemic corona virus on the rise, do watch the pandemic trend toward online shopping increasing still further? Absolutely. There are many reasons one is the resurgence of this virus, the other is consumers becoming more accustomed to shopping online. Furthermore, merchants have greatly increased their online capabilities ever since the beginning of this pandemic. These factors alone should make consumers want to shop online when possible.

If the current outbreak worldwide is any indication of what could occur with the next pandemic, then it’s wise to prepare yourself for major increases in online during the holiday shopping season. Some retailers like Target and Walmart already have additional in-store activities like video games and flavored beverages. Many other retailers are gearing up to increase their online shopping capabilities, which could include additional curbside sales and even the addition of in-store gift cards.

There is no doubt that the increased online shopping will be a boon to consumers across the nation. This is especially true during the upcoming Christmas season, as consumers will want to get in early before Black Friday shopping begins. Online shopping will provide a quick way to find popular items that are on sale. It will also allow consumers to find last minute deals that they may not otherwise find on traditional stores. This is especially true during the black Friday weekend.

As the new year begins, it may be helpful to look back at the recent string of school outbreaks. The number of children suffering from one illness or another was up. A large portion of these kids came down with something in one place or another. A large number of these kids were forced to miss out on extra school hours because of their illness or injury. With increased online shopping during black Friday, more kids can receive the care and attention they need without being disrupted at home or school.

As the following months approach, we can expect to see many more outbreaks of new diseases or illnesses. In fact, there have been a number of rumors surfacing that suggest a connection between emerging economies and the emergence of a pandemic. However, the reality is that increased internet spending has actually decreased cross-contamination of personal items. Consumers shop online for personal care items more than they do for cosmetics or electronics. Additionally, the increasing access to specialty health supplies makes it easier for people to purchase the items they need for treating their illnesses.

The number one question that many of those asked this question had to do with shopping. Why did online shopping habits decrease during the recent pandemic? The answers provided to the poll participants varied. Some indicated that they were shopping less because they were sick; others cited the costs of transportation and fuel as a factor. No matter what the reason, it seems that consumers are buying less because of fears of a new outbreak of covid or other infectious disease.

No matter how the question was framed (whether shoppers were shopping less because of fear or safety, or whether consumers were changing their shopping habits because of fears of a new pandemic), the results of the poll showed that shoppers did not feel any less safe shopping online than they did in stores. In fact, online shopping surveys have consistently found that consumers feel safer purchasing things on the Internet than they do in stores. The two most frequently asked questions were why shoppers were shopping less online, and if consumers were changing their online shopping habits because of a new pandemic. Respondents to both questions gave very similar responses: that they were shopping online for the same reasons they always shop (that they want great prices and quality), that they don’t usually shop online and that they are not expecting to be sick. The only reason that a few consumers stated that they were shopping online for “pandemic” protection was because of fears of a recent outbreak of covid.

As flu season approaches, retailers everywhere are already feeling the crunch of fewer customers shopping with them, and higher costs of many common goods. While some are cutting back on items that are considered high risk, such as scented hand sanitizer, other necessities are left out in the cold as supplies dwindle. While shoppers are still spending their holiday season money on necessities, many are turning to the Internet for gift shopping gift cards, which can provide the added benefit of having a variety of items to choose from without being forced into a holiday shopping overload. The result is that while overall spending may have temporarily dropped, more of that spending is going to the online stores than to the malls.

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