Woman shopping in image as survey reveals customers are planning to spend more this holiday season

Customers Are Planning To Spend More This Holiday Season (2020)

If you own a small to medium business in Texas, a survey just conducted by The Strawhecker Group (TSG) and the Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) should be of great interest to you.

There has been a significant amount of uncertainty regarding the upcoming holiday shopping season due to the economic effects of the 2020 pandemic.

However, the survey results indicate that customers are planning to spend more this holiday season, so the shopping season will likely be much more along the lines of “normal” than any of us may have expected.

Here are some of the highlights from the survey:

Customers Are Planning To Spend More

In the survey, 64% of consumers indicated that they plan on spending the same, or more, as they did during the holiday season last year.

Yes, you read that correctly. Customers are planning to spend more this year than last year despite the economic destruction from the pandemic.

Only 36% of the survey respondents indicated that they will likely spend less than they did during the holiday season last year.

That is good news for small to medium businesses who should be aggressively promoting their holiday specials and seasonal products.

Cash is NOT king

It should not come as a surprise, but the trend from cash to plastic has only intensified in 2020 as a direct result of the pandemic, gaining an impressive 9% more usage in less than 12 months.

That trend was already going strong coming into 2020, so there is no reason to believe that the 9% increase this year will ever reverse.

That means that small to medium-size businesses need to make sure that they are capitalizing on this trend, and offer the most convenient payment methods possible, with the best processing fees possible.

Consumers form a bond with contactless payments

In another interesting development, 61% of consumers who have tried contactless payments have reported a positive experience and fully intend on using them going forward.

Historically, the shift to contactless payments has been a slow and painful shift.

Consumers have not been convinced that contactless payment methods are worth adopting, and the fractured availability of contactless payment technologies means that the experience has been inconsistent to-date.

Unlike credit and debit cards which can be used virtually anywhere, many businesses have also not adopted payment portals that allow for contactless payment methods.

Since the majority of people who have tried contactless payments have reported that they like them and will continue to use them, that’s all about to change.

If you are a small to medium business, you’ll want to make sure that you have an easy and convenient contactless payment method available for your customers.

Consumers are unsure about Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) options

Giving consumers options to purchase makes a lot of sense, as long as the buying experience isn’t cluttered and confusing.

BNPL (Buy Now, Pay Later) companies have reported the following:

  • Afterpay: 186% increase in sales in 2020
  • Klarna: 106% increase in app downloads compared to last year
  • Affirm: 200% growth in home office sales purchased with their financing options

It’s clear that buyers are quickly adopting BNPL platforms in 2020 and beyond.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of inconsistency with the various BNPL options that are on the market, and new financing companies are coming online with new options all the time.

Consumers indicated that they are concerned with things like over-spending, or being uncertain about how the various BNPL options work.

If you are a small to medium business, you’ll want to make sure that if you offer a BNPL option it’s essential that it is as clear and concise as possible in terms of how it works, and how your customer can go about making the purchase.

To learn more about the survey, click here.

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