One way that retailers could get consumers back in stores for the holidays is through appointment-based shopping.
Shoppers are saying no to Thanksgiving Day retail.
Three-quarters (76%) of the more than 1,500 U.S. consumers surveyed said they want retailers to close on Thanksgiving Day, according to the Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey. Slightly more than half of those cited the desire to give workers a well-deserved day off, with the remainder saying retail workers should spend the holiday with their families.
Health, safety and the livelihood of store employees are also on consumers’ minds, with 61% saying they plan to minimize in-store shopping to reduce health risks to essential workers. The same number said they’d be inspired to shop with retailers that demonstrate visibly high commitments to health, safety and hygiene practices. In addition, 41% said they won’t shop with retailers that have laid off staff or reduced employees’ benefits because of the pandemic, whereas 57% would be inspired to shop with a retailer that supported their staff and customers during the crisis.
“The pandemic has reinforced, even strengthened, the social consciousness and call for transparency we’ve been seeing over the past few years,” said Jill Standish, a senior managing director at Accenture and head of its retail practice globally. “Our survey findings show that this could be shaping up to be a very ‘human’ holiday, with a desire to support the people who have served our communities. Retailers need to respond — there has never been a more important time to be authentic and clearly communicate what they are doing to look after their employees and the wider community.”
Not surprisingly, the pandemic has further accelerated the shift to online shopping, with 75% of consumers saying they will do at least some of their holiday shopping online, up from 65% last year, while 43% of shoppers plan to shop exclusively online this holiday season.
Even though many retailers have been offering curbside and other contactless options at their stores due to the pandemic, 77% of shoppers still want their purchases delivered directly to their homes, with only 11% willing to pick up purchases in-store and the same percentage willing to use contactless options like locker or curbside pick-up. Further, consumer patience is waning, as more than half (56%) of respondents said they won’t shop with a retailer again after an unsatisfactory delivery experience.
“Given the pandemic is still making consumers wary about visiting stores, retailers must ensure that their ecommerce capabilities are up to the task and that they have transparency into demand changes and inventory — with a laser focus on seamless experiences and fulfillment efficiency,” said Brooks Kitchel, head of Accenture Strategy’s retail industry sector. “They will need to build resilience and agility into their networks and those of their partners to address rising delivery costs and avoid supply chain crunches.”
One way that retailers could get consumers back in stores for the holidays is through appointment-based shopping. In fact, nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers said that booking a time to shop in person could inspire them to physically return to a department store, consumer electronics retailer or homewares retailer.