COVID-19 and the 2020 Holiday Retail Season

Our e-book shares key purchasing and returns trends amidst the backdrop of COVID-19 and advises on how retailers can dominate their market share this 2020 holiday retail season.


The apparel retail industry was one of the many sectors that bore the devastating brunt of COVID-19. The impact of the pandemic on the retail sector caused problems like store closures, loss of jobs, a decrease in footfall, and the inability to clear seasonal stock. 

But it’s not all doom and gloom, since the first wave of the pandemic and as the months have gone by – surveys have shown that consumer behavior has shifted to purchasing items online. This means that retailers who are able to make the requisite changes and innovations that follow and meet the needs of their consumers will be rewarded.

With the pandemic still very much in existence, our latest e-book examines consumer behavior trends in light of the upcoming holiday season, purchasing and return predictions, the impact Thanksgiving closures in the States will have on consumer behavior, and finally – we recommend the actions physical stores and online retailers can take to position themselves to succeed during and post-COVID holiday season.

COVID- 19 Holiday Retail Season E-Book

4 Interesting Learnings From Our Holiday Retail Season E-Book

  1. COVID-19 has left shoppers hesitant to enter fitting rooms for health and safety reasons. A survey conducted by First Sight (retail predictive analytics company) reported that about 65% of women and 54% of men confirmed they would not feel safe trying on clothes in a fitting room.
  2. Our modeling of 2018, 2019, and 2020 year-to-date data shows increases in total e-commerce purchases across the holiday season with a small spike immediately following the holiday season. Based on the model, we are forecasting a 73% increase in online purchases for Cyber Week 2020.
  3. Not all verticals are affected equally and some verticals are coming out ahead of previous seasons.
  4. Our returns trend report shows that, despite overall return rate averages falling 21% below historical averages, the return trend starts to uptick from the 2020 holiday season into January 2021.


Our e-book shares interesting purchasing and returns insights and from that, we were able to advise physical stores and online retail on how to be best prepared for the COVID-19 holiday season.

For more holiday season statistics and insights, download a free copy of COVID-19 and the 2020 Holiday Retail Season.

Featured image – Shutterstock, Blog image – Aturo Rey

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