As the holiday shopping season gets underway, we are noticing an interesting story line. Despite COVID-19, shoppers are as positive as they were during the 2019 holiday season.
In the Channel Signal database of more than 60,000 online reviews for this holiday shopping season, we are seeing that the star average for reviews related to the holidays is 4.73, or 93% positive. Compare that with last year for the same time period, reviews showed us a 94% all-positive sentiment rating with an overall star average of 4.78.
In short, people are eager to shop for the holidays, because giving to loved ones, particularly now, makes people feel good.
For example, this from a shopper at Dillards. “Supercozy. Approved quickly. Love the skybloo!!! Buying boots for holidays for all family.”
Or this from a shopper at DSW: “I bought these after exchanging a different pair and they are like walking on clouds. I absolutely love the patent leather and will definitely wear for the Holidays even if celebrating at home!! Be safe everyone!”
The optimism expressed in reviews is backed up by a recent article published by Digital Commerce. It shows a 21% year-over-year increase in the first 10 days of the holiday period: 21.7 billion spend in online shopping. 63% of consumers say they are avoiding stores and shopping online. Of that group, 81% say they are doing so because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, researchers are predicting the traditional big discount days, Thanksgiving through the Cyber 5 period, to grow between 35-40%, this year vs. 2019. This could increase if several factors come into play, like an additional economic stimulus package and increased pandemic lockdown restrictions.
So, despite what you see on the news related to COVID-19, the consumer-to consumer communication going on through product reviews suggest that Americans are adapting and expressing love and affection through giving.