Featured in AW360: How the Latest Consumer Attitudes Will Shape the Season for Retail and Travel Brands

The light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is getting brighter with each passing day, and that tunnel is lined with another type of light – holiday ones. Travel and retail marketers must tackle the holiday season before the return to some sort of normalcy in just a few months.

COVID-19 is still playing a major role in how consumers are planning their 2020 holiday seasons, and they’re doing so based on their personal perceptions of the virus and the threat it poses to their families and communities right now.

“Today’s retail and travel brands face the daunting challenge of aligning their holiday messaging and offers with widely varying and ever-shifting consumer attitudes.”

– Ericka Podesta McCoy, Resonate CMO

In her latest article in Advertising Week’s AW360, How the Latest Consumer Attitudes Will Shape the Season for Retail and Travel Brands, Resonate CMO Ericka Podesta McCoy dives into the latest trends affecting consumers’ holiday plans.

Travel: Limited, But Happening

As of Resonate’s late October wave of COVID-19 research, conducted through the National Consumer Study™, nearly two-thirds of consumers (59.5%) expected to spend the holidays with only their immediate families. Other findings to note include:

  • 4 in 5 Americans didn’t expect their leisure travel to return to normal until spring 2021 or later. McCoy recommends travel brands get in front of these people now with appealing 2021 offers that emphasize flexibility in booking while still appealing to their desire to begin exploring the world again.
  • 29.5% of consumers say they’re not planning to travel to nearby states until the coronavirus is under control, and 19.5% say they’re not even traveling within their states.
  • 34% of Americans say they don’t plan to travel via airplane or train until the pandemic is under control, and 31.5% said they’ll be avoiding large hotel chains.

“The key to success will be for travel brands to segment their messaging smartly according to those consumers who are showing interest in traveling now versus at a later date.

– Ericka Podesta McCoy, Resonate CMO


Retail: Consumers Becoming More Active at Home

Consumers may be cautious about flitting around the country this winter, but they’re certainly flitting around town more often. For example, the percentage of consumers who say they’re not dining in at restaurants until the pandemic is under control fell from 42.9% in August to 30.8% in October. Meanwhile, the percentages of people who say they’re dining out monthly, weekly, and even daily have risen steadily.

On the retail level, 71% of consumers are now venturing out to grocery stores and 59% to big-box stores. Meanwhile, less people are visiting clothing retailers (39.6 percent), electronics stores (21.3 percent) and other retail venues – McCoy recommends these brands continue emphasizing e-commerce and curbside pickup through the holidays.

“Today’s consumers are looking for a reason to celebrate—and they’ll be opening their wallets to do so. The key for brands is to understand where consumer attitudes sit at this precise moment.

– Ericka Podesta McCoy, Resonate CMO

By planning and segmenting messages and offers according to a real-time understanding of consumer sentiment, retail and travel brands can make the most of the 2020 holiday season and be prepared for a strong 2021.

Read the full article, How the Latest Consumer Attitudes Will Shape the Season for Retail and Travel Brands, on Advertising Week’s AW360 today.

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