Despite the sobering economic climate over COVID, optimism is high in regards to holiday shopping that can benefit small business. In fact, a recent poll by VISA indicates 86% of American shoppers are planning to buy gifts from small and medium-sized businesses (SBM) according to a report by VISA.
The possible influx of interest for holiday shopping has encouraged small businesses to pivot with 60% already saying they are taking steps to accommodate shoppers. Some 69% of small businesses in the U.S. see the winter holiday season is a top sales opportunity for their company. Only a small fraction, around one in eight (14%), of American small businesses, claim they are not prepared to take on the holiday season influx of sales.
Visa Back to Business Study
The uptick in consumer optimism can be seen as a shot in the arm for businesses working to recover from the impact of COVID-19.
Some encouraging insights included in the shift in consumer behavior are:
- 60% of US shoppers plan to do half or more of their shopping at local retails this holiday season
- 32% of Americans plan to do their shopping online compared to the global trend of 26%
- 24% of US businesses plan to extend their business hours to meet the demands of shoppers
- 20% of American businesses are in the process of digitizing their businesses
- 20% of SMBs plan to expand their physical space to accommodate the holiday shopping season.
Furthermore, shoppers are planning to buy digital gifts for the winter holidays. They also plan to give more digital gift cards (33%) compared to previous years. Compared to 2019 they will also purchase more digital entertainment (16%) and digital access or membership to online-based services (14%).
Growing Business Optimism
At the business end, a large majority (82%) of small businesses are optimistic about the future of their business. Of which over a quarter (28%) say they are ‘extremely optimistic’. However, US businesses estimate it will take about seven months before their businesses are back to full operation.
A quarter (24%) of businesses are also planning to extend business hours to prepare for the influx of holiday season sales. They are also digitizing parts of their business operation (20%) and also investing more in their physical infrastructure (20%).