Retailers can expect to see foot traffic fall by as much as 25 percent this holiday season. However, on the bright side, projections show that foot traffic during the six-week holiday shopping period would still be higher than expected.
In the U.S., Black Friday (November 27), Super Saturday (December 19) and the day after Christmas (December 26) are expected to be the busiest shopping days this year. Overall, the busiest 10 days during the 2020 holiday season are projected to account for 34.2 percent of all holiday traffic compared to 46.5 percent observed in 2019. Meaning, the typical holiday traffic peaks will flatten this year with consumers shopping throughout the holiday season.
Consumer interest in shopping in-store has been improving since April when foot traffic was down 82 percent. Last month, for example, foot traffic was just down 25.7 percent compared to last year, according to recent data by Sensormatic Solutions.
“The outlook for this year’s holiday season remains positive, considering traffic was down as low as -82% in April and has since improved to -25.7% for the week ending September 19,” said Bjoern Petersen, president at Sensormatic Solutions.
This is not to say that simply opening up stores during the holiday season will be enough for businesses. While consumers are still keen on being able to go in-store, they also want to avoid spending extended time in enclosed locations. Thus, it is important for retailers to enable access to omnichannel shopping features, which are increasingly being favored by shoppers these days.
“Now is the time for retailers to strengthen their buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup services, which are expected to grow in popularity this year,” Petersen said. “It’s also crucial to provide a safe in-store environment where shoppers feel comfortable through offerings such as contactless checkout and real-time occupancy monitoring to adhere with social distancing guidelines.”