Each year events occur that change our patterns of behavior. COVID-19 turned the world upside down, and we are still trying to land safely. New words such as “new normal” and “safe -distancing entered our vocabulary. Rather than a one-day event, Black Friday now last for weeks or even months. Online sales are at a record high—even see growth among older generations. Although some changes that occurred this year will fade away in time, others will continue post-pandemic. These trends will have a lasting influence on consumers, retailers, and manufacturers in the near future.
DIY Home Improvement Projects
Spending more time at home has enabled people to discover their hidden talents. Crafting, cooking, and working on home improvement projects helps people be creative and focus on things other than the pandemic, economy, and living in a time of uncertainty. When most physical stores closed earlier this year because of COVID-19, home improvement stores remained open to provide essential products and services to consumers. According to NPD Group’s checkout information, one in 10 consumers tried their hand at landscaping, maintenance, repairs, or remodeling.
“Housebound in March, consumers noticed opportunities to make their personal spaces more livable as they not only provided shelter but became office spaces and schoolrooms for many,” said Shay Kraft, NPD president of U.S. home improvement and major appliances. “Home hardware stores were able to remain open and support the needs of the consumer, both in-store and online.”
DIY projects are booming, and so are sales at home improvement stores—many businesses have seen double-digit sales increases. Although sales will not be as robust in 2021, the home improvement market will continue to be strong in the future.
- Second fastest-growing channel during the first seven months of 2020
- Purchases increased by 11% from 2019
- One in ten consumers are taking on projects typically done by a professional
- 10% increase in transaction amount when compared to 2019
Buy Online, Pick-up in Store (BOPIS)
Although buying merchandise online and picking it up at the store is not new, it moved to a higher level this year. This type of transaction is beneficial for consumers and consumers. It allows retailers to connect the online and physical store experience and can potentially generate additional in-store sales.
- Lower shipping costs from the manufacturer to the store vs. to the consumer
- Batter inventory management and less overhead
- 61 percent of retailers put BOPIS at the top of their omnichannel and investment plans(Shopgate Omnichannel Survey)
Consumers have options, and they prefer shopping with retailers who meet their expectations. According to a Fisher Study, 90 percent of respondents say they dislike paying high shopping fees and are unwilling to wait longer than two days for home deliveries. Consumers also want the assurance of knowing the items they need are in-stock. The Shopgate Omnichannel Survey also found:
- Over 40 percent of shoppers used BOPIS during the holidays
- 68 percent of respondents made multiple purchases
- 50 percent of respondents shopped online because they could pick-up in store
Consumers will continue to use contactless payments even after the pandemic is over. The value of transactions in the U.S is expected to increase from $178 billion in 2020 to $1.5 trillion in 2024. According to Juniper Research, global transactions are currently $2 trillion and is projected to rise to $6 trillion in four years. Shoppers who were wary of the new technology are now comfortable with this form of payment. This is especially true for Millennials who enjoy the speed and ease of use.
- Ten times faster than other methods of in-person payment
- 84 percent of users prefer this type of payment to cash
- 50 percent of users make four or more contactless payments per month
In 2020, we have experienced the unexpected and unimaginable because of COVID-19. Businesses and consumers have found new ways to adapt to challenging situations that have redefined past concepts of buying and selling products and services.