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Consumer perspective: Holiday shopping during a pandemic

Guest Post: Consumer Perspective on Holiday Shopping During a Pandemic

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As COVID-19 cases continue to surge worldwide, Holiday 2020 is sure to be anything but normal. For many, this will be the first time in years they have not taken part in traditional, in-person Black Friday shopping. Today, we hear from one of them.

Our guest, Jamie Payne, is sharing what this year’s dramatic shift to eCommerce has meant for her, a novice online shopper. Retailers and brands, listen up! Jamie may be new to eCommerce, but she has clear expectations. From free shipping and returns to alternative delivery methods, here’s what your new online shoppers expect! 

I am a shopper at heart. Nothing makes me more excited than going to a store and seeing all of the newest trends and incredible sales. As a consumer, I like to have the option of instant gratification with taking home the products I buy and to be able to view them in person before deciding to purchase.

Christmas shopping is one of my all-time favorite experiences. I am the Black Friday shopper that has a custom shirt made, shopping list written out in August, and stores mapped out according to which ones have the best sales. I live for this every single year. Knowing that I am holding the perfect gift that will make my family and friends smile fills me with the Christmas spirit and starts the holiday season for me.

With COVID-19 this year, shopping is going to be very different for me, as well as everyone else. This is the first time that I will be utilizing online stores to do my Christmas holiday shopping. Am I happy about this? Not so much. Am I going to make the best of it? You bet! Several of my friends and family swear by this method, so hopefully I can still get into the spirit of the season while shopping in my pajamas, with hot chocolate in hand. I’ll be turning on the holiday tunes for good measure.

Finding the best deals

Being the person that I am, I have created a game-plan for how I am going to get the best deals possible. I think having a pre-planned list and set spending limit for each person I am shopping for is going to keep me on track and avoid overspending. Then, I can cross-check websites to find the best deal.

I will likely hit major eCommerce sites like Amazon first because they offer free delivery most often and you can now return items easier. Amazon has recently teamed up with Kohl’s to allow customers to bring their items to the store for easy returns on purchases. But if an item I am looking for is not available on Amazon, or I find a better price on another site, I will utilize coupons code sites such as RetailMeNot and CouponSurfer to find the best deal.

Free Shipping & Returns

If a brand does not offer free shipping and free returns, I am more than likely not going to shop from them. The price of shipping drives up the total balance and that makes it very unappealing, especially when I am used to just going to a store and not paying to shop there. I cannot count the number of times that I have looked for something online, got to the shopping cart, saw the shipping price and decided to get it in-store instead.


One of my worries is the hassle of returning items that don’t fit or that I didn’t like in person. To try and avoid this hassle, shopping online at major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Macy’s is a very appealing option. Several stores are offering in-store pickup, which is a really easy option that usually has no extra cost. Now, many of the stores are offering curbside pickup, which saves even more time by not having to fight the crowds and sit in traffic. It is also easier to return the items to the store if there is one locally.

What I’m most excited about

I am excited about finding products that I normally would not be able to find in stores and having more options available. Whether it’s through a major retailer or a brand’s direct site, I can shop internationally and have access to items that no one else would have. This makes Christmas shopping online really fun because of checking out all of the different items around the world that can be on my doorstep in about two-weeks. And, I won’t have to worry about getting something for someone that they already have.

I want this Christmas to be as stress-free as possible for myself and my family, so I am going to give online shopping a try. Hopefully my game plan will help ease the process and I find that I actually enjoy this better than fighting the crowds every year at Black-Friday. Plus, with Cyber Monday, I’m hopeful I’ll still be able to find some great deals outside of my usual Black Friday shopping. As long as I can still find those deals, I’m going to be a very happy holiday shopper.




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