Super Saturday, the last Saturday before Christmas (Dec. 19), is still expected to be the second-busiest day of the 2020 holiday season, but it won’t be as big as previous years.
That’s according to a new report from Sensormatic Solution, which also predicted that shipping delays and unique traffic patterns will see consumers shifting how they shop the week before Christmas
“We’ve seen more dispersed shopping patterns over the last few months as more consumers shop on weekdays while they work from home and try to avoid larger crowds on weekends,” said Brian Field, senior director of global retail consulting, Sensormatic Solutions, which is part of Johnson Controls. “While Saturdays are still the biggest shopping day of the week, it has flattened considerably during the pandemic.”
Also, this year, Super Saturday is almost a week before Christmas Day, which falls on a Friday, leaving more time for in-store shopping the week before the big day. The Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday leading up to Christmas Eve all play prominent roles (No. 6, No. 8 and No. 4) in Sensormatic’s predictions of the busiest days of the 2020 holiday season.
While many consumers have shifted to online shopping to avoid in-store crowds during the pandemic, shipping and delivery cutoff dates are expected to be earlier as delivery providers and the postal service deal with an influx in packages this holiday season.
“The shipping and delivery cutoff dates may actually help boost in-store shopping traffic around Super Saturday, which is known for an increase in last-minute shopping,” said Field. “If consumers want a guarantee that they will have their gift in time, going in-store on Super Saturday weekend provides them with more confidence than risking online delivery for the week before Christmas.”
With a heavy influx of traffic this weekend compared to what stores have seen the last several months, it will be critical for retailers to ensure a safe environment through real-time occupancy monitoring and contactless checkout, advised Sensormatic. Consumers heading in-store will also be expecting convenience and perfect execution of fulfillment options like buy online pickup in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup.