Christmas shopping starts NOW thanks to shortages and fears

Christmas shopping starts NOW thanks to shortages and fears

Forget Halloween, it’s time to go Christmas shopping say the consumers who are expecting the worst. Can we blame them? According to a new survey of 1,000 UK consumers carried out on behalf of JRNI, over half (56%) of consumers plan to do their Christmas holiday shopping early in 2021 due to fears of empty shelves and further lockdown measures.

Almost one in 10 consumers are reported to have already completed their holiday shopping as the UK’s shortage of HGV drivers continues to threaten supply chains and uncertainty as COVID-19 persists. The survey also shed light on consumers’ preferred method of shopping in the run-up to the holiday period. Despite the boom in online shopping during the pandemic, almost two-thirds (64%) of shoppers are planning on hitting the high street, with nearly half (47%) of all respondents stating that human contact was an important part of the retail experience.

When it comes to buying Christmas gifts, 38% said they would combine online and offline shopping, with one in five eager to get back in stores during the festive period.

The survey also revealed that attitudes toward pre-planned visits to stores had changed among UK shoppers. More than a third (37%) now say they would prefer a more COVID-safe experience in-store, with 30% saying they would now like the ability to control when they visit. In fact, 38% of UK shoppers are now more likely to schedule an in-store appointment than they were before the pandemic, and 55% would prefer to book an appointment than queue due to social distancing measures.

“Black Friday planning is certainly going to look very different for both businesses and consumers this year. Although the high street is fully open and shoppers are expressing interest in in-store shopping, the looming threat of product shortages and lockdowns drive many shoppers to get an early start. The research really backs this up, showing that across the UK more than half of all shoppers are planning to hit the high street or start their online shopping earlier than usual.”
– John Federman, CEO at JRNI

Since consumers are already doing their Christmas shopping, it’s a good time to think about Black Friday. Amazon have cleverly started offering Black Friday deals early this year and with uncertainty surrounding delivery, waiting until late November could be too late and result in a mass of returns and upset.

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