What Brands Need to Know About Moms' COVID-Inspired Holiday Shopping

Brands, retailers and marketers can expect that things will be different this year as they prepare for moms to open their wallets for holiday shopping. Although the holidays won’t be cancelled, moms will be approaching how they buy gifts, celebrate with family and friends and prepare meals with thoughts of COVID, civil unrest and economic uncertainty circling in their heads.

According to research, moms spend over $3.1 trillion in the U.S. economy, and there are specific behaviors that brands can leverage to capture more of their holiday spending this year.

Curbside pickup is Mom’s new way to shop. Yes, she will continue to order online, but almost 83% of mothers intend to continue to use curbside pickup as part of her brick and mortar shopping experience. Retailers will have to find a way to lure her into the aisle while providing the convenience of outside pickup in order to maintain impulse purchases.

She’ll be sending more gifts via online delivery. This is great news for Esty, 1-800-Flowers or smaller customized food sites like Popilicious Popcorn. In her attempt to maintain her normal spirit of giving, Mom will be searching for creative, unique and easy gift ideas that don’t take her into a mall or crowded store.



Moms will plan more in-home events for their family. In order to keep the holidays special for her children, mothers will create activities at home to substitute for club, community and school events.  The winners here will be brands who demonstrate to moms how their products can create holiday mini-events, like an Ubisoft Just Dance dance party or a Party City Santa Pinanta fiesta in the living room. The possibilities are endless with a little creative thinking.

Families will create new traditions to take the place of those the current environment will not permit. Holiday parades, festivals, and concerts will be replaced by smaller, more intimate new traditions, according to 65% of moms surveyed.  Among the possibilities are neighborhood decorating contests, holiday movie nights around a backyard fire, and virtual cookie decorating parties. Smart brands will get ahead of the trend by promoting fun ideas for using their products in creating these holiday events.

Family gatherings and holiday meals will be smaller. Seventy-six percent of moms believe their Thanksgiving dinner will include fewer family members due to travel restrictions and health concerns. At first glance this may seem bad for food brands  — but with fewer family members sharing meals, this could mean increased sales as more families make their own pan of green bean casserole.

Reviews are more important than ever. With less motivation to shop in store, moms will rely more on other moms’ experience with the product. So many brands ignore their online reviews as an essential part of their marketing tactics,  when 90% of mothers NEVER buy a product without first reading a review online.  Now is the time to ensure your products have positive reviews.

Just as 2020 has required brands rethink operations and manufacturing, it is important to rethink marketing in order to meet your holiday sales goals.

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