At The Garage Group, we’re always looking for ways to enable our BigCo partners to maintain relevance in a dynamic environment. With the holidays approaching and effects of COVID-19 still prevalent, it’s more important than ever for brands to break through the clutter and make a positive impact. To help brands navigate this holiday season, we conducted a quick and smart social media ethnography to capture what consumers are sharing and, in turn, predict their shopping behavior. We collected and curated first-person sentiments since September 1 across multiple publicly available social media sources.
Three themes emerged, along with selected supporting verbatims and sources, and ways brands may consider taking action:
1. Consumers are shopping in new ways compared to past holiday seasons.
I usually have started [my Christmas shopping] by now but my family has decided on minimal gifts this year so I’m going to wait it out a bit. – Reddit
Is it just me? It doesn’t matter when the sale is if I don’t have anywhere to wear the clothes. Plus, I’m not planning to host a big holiday dinner, so I don’t need more china or napkin rings. And forget those gift boxes, since exotic cheeses and salamis just make you gain weight. So, the most I might buy this year are upgraded electronics. – LinkedIn
My shopping was already very heavily online. It has accelerated that way, but, like many Americans, what I buy has shifted a fair bit. I’m a bit of an apparel junkie, but that’s taken a backseat to new hobbies, new things for the home, and things to keep the kids engaged around the house. – Podcast
Brands can take action by expressing empathy and offering products, services, and experiences that meet consumers where they are — emotionally, financially, and physically. Acknowledging that things look and feel different this year and that people are likely celebrating the holidays in new ways helps businesses build trust with consumers. How might your brand reach out empathetically to address the way consumers are feeling?
Recent examples of BigCos expressing empathy include:
2. Consumers are concerned about shipping delays related to their online shopping.
I finished [my Christmas shopping] in July. Wanted to avoid the shipping delays, since I usually do my Christmas shopping online. This will probably never happen again. – Reddit
That’s part of why I did my Christmas shopping already. If you’re early it doesn’t matter if the item ships late. – Twitter
I’m finished [with Christmas shopping], I wanted to get it all sorted because so many people will be buying online the postage times will take longer. I can enjoy the run up to it now with no hassle. – Twitter
Brands can take action by assuring consumers in two ways. First, by communicating a solid plan for delivering purchases in a timely and secure manner. And subsequently by meeting those expectations and having specific remedial actions in place when things go awry. How might your brand ease consumers’ minds around shipping?
Recent examples of BigCos assuring consumers of reliable shipping include:
3. Consumers are committed to supporting small businesses and makers for the holidays.
Hey small business! Drop ur links! I’m gonna start Christmas shopping
early <3 – Twitter
Shop small. Who cares about that $5 savings. – Instagram
Links to small businesses!! I’m trying to start Christmas shopping, but I want to shop small! ❤️❤️ – Twitter
So Christmas shopping is going to be weird this year. Instead of boosting Amazon’s profits, you could ask friends and family for a voucher for a local business that might be struggling. Bookshops, restaurants, salons, cinemas, craft stores, arts venues, whatever you’re into. Hopefully we can help them still be here next year! – Instagram
Brands can take action by also supporting small businesses. This creates win-win-win scenarios for customers, consumers, and their own companies. How might your brand help other businesses in need?
Recent examples of BigCos supporting small businesses include:
Get in touch with The Garage Group if your team is facing challenges as you adapt to the current shifting landscape and prepare for the upcoming holiday season. We’d love to have a conversation about your current goals and priorities, and share more about how we can tackle your innovation and/or strategy challenges via startup-inspired approaches.