It’s hard to believe that the holiday retail season is coming up. With such a weird year, ranging from a global pandemic to upheaval in the social order, the holidays are a welcome change in pace. However, 2020 has left retailers scrambling to prepare for the most significant shopping period of the year. eCommerce providers straining to keep up with the increased demand for online orders due to COVID-19 are nervous about a new onslaught of activity.

With shoppers mostly continuing to avoid unnecessary trips to brick and mortar stores, it is no surprise that the alternative has boomed. Throwing another wrench in the plans is Amazon Prime Day, usually scheduled for July, which will now take place on October 13-14.

According to eMarketer, Amazon Prime Day will generate nearly $10 billion in retail sales this year worldwide. This increase is a massive jump from the $1.5 billion worldwide just four years ago in 2016.


Learning from Last Year

According to experts at Salesforce, much can be learned from the 2019 holiday retail season. Digital revenue grew in the first half of the season aggressively as shoppers extended the buying frenzy on both sides of Cyber Week. In 2019, 50% of the holiday season’s revenue was complete by December 3rd, and Cyber Week contributed to 18% of revenue growth.

The five most talked-about retailers and brands of 2019 will hopefully also shed some light on which companies will be hyped up for the 2020 season.

Top 5 Retailers of 2019

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Best Buy
  • Gamestop

Top 5 Brands of 2019

  • PlayStation
  • Nintendo
  • Apple
  • Google
  • Samsung

What does this mean for the 2020 season? Will these brands and retailers once again reign supreme?

Predictions for the 2020 Holiday Retail Season

Economic uncertainty, the acceleration of digital commerce, and an October Prime Day will make this holiday retail season unlike any other.

According to social listening data, messaging from both brands and retailers will need to be sensitive this year.

While the holiday season will be an excellent opportunity to uplift and relieve shoppers of the seemingly unending struggles of 2020. In this case, messaging must feel relevant next to the current economic, health, and societal realities. Messages should feel good without being tone-deaf or failing to acknowledge the abnormal circumstances of the year.

Shoppers will also be watching how brands and retailers treat the community and their employees. Several retailers, including Target, Walmart, and Best Buy, have already announced that they will not open on Thanksgiving Day to give their employees a day of rest and a welcome break.

It is remarkable that in a world teeming with data, some brands are not taking advantage of critical insights from their customers. By using social intelligence, companies know what their customers care about and what motivates individuals to buy. When relationships with consumers might be shaky and uncertain, it is more important than ever to utilize data qualified, informed decision-making to maintain a cadence that is still helpful to buyers.

No one can deny that the state of retail has been changing rapidly. However, what does this mean for your business, and how can you get ahead of the wave? Download our new eCommerce report for more information about the eCommerce industry and how it has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.