The Experience Evolution: Prep the Halls—2021 Holiday Shopping Trends and Tips


Did the pandemic rewrite the rules for the holiday shopping season? Is there even a rulebook anymore? As consumers look to engage with their favorite brands across all channels this upcoming holiday season, retailers will need to find ways to bridge the gap between in-person and online to provide seamless experiences. John Federman, CEO of JRNI, and Adam Percival, National Sales Leader at luxury menswear retailer, Harry Rosen, broke down the recent trends they believe will impact the upcoming holiday shopping season and provide tips for success for retailers.

One behavioral carry-over from last year is people’s need to engage on a personal level, Federman said. “They want to celebrate the holidays, but they want to do so safely. What’s different from last year is everyone feels a little like a veteran. They feel they know the ways to comfortably and safely get accomplished what they need to get accomplished.” Boiled down: people are ready to shop this holiday season, but they will do so in a safe manner. The retailers that can provide a safe environmentwill come out on top.

From Harry Rosen’s perspective, Percival said they’d worked hard to develop new strategies for creating a unique shopping experience during the pandemic, and this will be crucial during the holiday shopping season as well. “We see the trend of online shopping continue. Consumers want to shop when and where it’s convenient to them. I do see the appointment business continue to be very strong. People want to shop either at home or in their office, or online. For us, it’s going to be about these personalized, or private, appointments for customers.”

Federman stressed that the holiday shopping landscape isn’t one format over another. A customer’s journey may start online, but it can, and often does, end in a physical store. But the time spent in a store may be different from the shopping experience of the past. “People want to make the time spent in the physical as focused and as ultimately productive as it can be.”

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