Shopping for the holiday season can be a daunting task and this year is certainly no exception. COVID-19 has left many wondering if they have enough money after paying bills to spend on gifts and decorations.
According to a DailyPay Holiday Survey conducted September 30 through October 1 by The Harris Poll, 70% of U.S. adults are struggling to pay bills, and 36% of employed adults reported that they rely on financial assistance programs for financial guidance. Dollars spent on holiday gifts have increased steadily from 2016 to 2019 according to the 2020 Holiday Survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF). In 2020 however, the average consumer is expected to spend 5% less than last year on holiday gifts and decorations.
2020 will be the most financially difficult year yet for many individuals and families so it is no surprise that money will be tighter for gifts and other non-essentials during the holidays. One way many consumers are coping with the added stress is by shopping online. The percentage of people who do their holiday shopping online is expected to jump from 51% last year to 71% this year, according to a Creditcards.com Holiday Shopping Poll. Online shopping eliminates the risk of COVID-19 you might face when shopping in a physical store, but lots of shoppers are moving in this direction regardless of the pandemic. Other reasons to shop online include convenience, wider selections of products, and better prices and deals.
If you waited until this month to start your holiday shopping, fear not. Many online retailers have speedy shipping options to ensure your gifts arrive on time. Another popular option is curbside pickup which provides the convenience of online shopping without having to wait for your items to ship.
Lots of small businesses have adopted platforms for online shopping and curbside pickup as they adapt to new consumer preferences. They have suffered immensely throughout COVID-19 and could use our help as consumers. Think about purchasing holiday gifts from local, small businesses to show your support and help keep them afloat. Another simple way to show you care while you shop is by utilizing Amazon Smile. By visiting smile.amazon.com and selecting a charity (you can choose CLC!) a percentage of your purchase will benefit your organization of choice.
2020 has been a year of challenges and changes for us all. Luckily with modern technology, some of the holiday shopping stress can be reduced so we can still enjoy a safe, fun holiday season.