Self Care Buys Will Fuel Holiday Sales Like Never Before

Attention, retailers: Shoppers want to splurge on themselves this holiday season — and it’s time prepare now.

At WWD’s virtual Retail Forum today, Melissa Davis, chief revenue officer at Afterpay, said that this atypical year presents opportunities to attract consumers across categories. Home, self care and fitness — all areas that have dominated during the pandemic — will be a bigger factor than ever before.

“Self Care will become really important. [People] are looking to create comfort for themselves,” Davis told event attendees.

That’s in large part because the pandemic has curbed spending on areas like travel — and for some, fashion and beauty. As the coronavirus shows a resurgence in some areas of the country, shoppers are likely to look for items that will help make cold days and nights at home a little bit more satisfying.

No matter if they’re shopping for themselves or others, people are also already on the hunt for holiday discounts. “It’s really important for merchants to pay attention. Consumers are budgeting out expenses differently this year,” Davis said.

It’s clear that the big box retailers who have been winning all year long recognize these trends. Just today, Target announced its plans for the holiday season — among them is the return of its Target Deal Days on Oct. 13 and 14, which will go head to head with rival Amazon’s Prime Days. Target will also promote Black Friday pricing throughout November, given that the traditional post Thanksgiving retail rush will look a lot different this year amid stepped up safety precautions.

There’s no question that digital will be critical, and Davis advised retailers to make sure they’re ready for the online rush.

When considering purchases, consumers will look at shipping times (and delays) and could become frustrated if items aren’t in stock. So storeowners must make sure they’re inventory system is tight and there are alternatives available when something is sold out, according to Davis.

The goal, she said, is to make the experience as seamless as possible — whether in store or online.

David offered up some proven ways to translate the physical experience to a digital platform — for example, virtual stylists and try-on sessions, diverse models who show how the products look IRL and rich product details.

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