Laptop surrounded by holiday gifts

What to Know About Holiday Shopping in 2020

Like most things this year, holiday shopping in 2020 will look different. With increases in online buying, shipping delays, inventory shortages, and new precautions in stores, here’s what you can expect for this season of gift buying.

Holiday Shopping in 2020 Will Grow Online

Online shopping is not a new concept. All the same, Adobe Analytics projects a 33% year over year surge in online holiday shopping in 2020. That number could go even higher if another stimulus bill is passed, or we experience a tough flu season on top of the ongoing pandemic. This increase to a record $189 billion in sales will be achieved by seasoned online shoppers as well as an estimated 9% who will be online holiday shopping in 2020 for the very first time.

Black Friday Deals Will Last All Season Long

Because many people are expected to skip the crowds when they’re holiday shopping in 2020, retailers have aligned their promotion strategies to accommodate the shift. Instead of the typical one-day Black Friday door-busters and special discounts, many retailers – especially the big box stores – are spreading the deals across the entire month of November and into December.

In past years, you’d expect to see amazing discounts on big-ticket items like televisions, smart phones, and laptops – all at very limited quantities to get you in the door. This year, because retailers don’t want to encourage a mob when they hang the open sign, those big-ticket discounts will be found online instead – still, of course, at very limited quantities in the hopes that even if you don’t get what you want, you might find something comparable at a decent price. Expect to see free shipping offers, deal-a-day promotions, and efficient curbside pickup options as well.

Of course, there will still be in-store-only offers on Black Friday as well. If you really want to do some in-person holiday shopping in 2020, it could be worth it to score a deal on the item you’ve got your eye on. Just be prepared for long waits to get into stores, and don’t forget your mask and hand sanitizer. Many stores will have to comply with local regulations regarding the number of people who can be inside the store at a time. Patience will be key for holiday shopping in 2020.

Shipping Delays and Product Shortages Will Impact Holiday Shopping in 2020

The pandemic created delayed shipping times and product shortages as retailers scaled back their inventories earlier in the spring. With hundreds of thousands of people still working and attending school from home, and some areas closing back down to prevent a spike in COVID-19 cases, you can expect continued shortages that will impact holiday shopping in 2020. Home office and home gym equipment will be in short supply. In addition, because many people aren’t traveling, items like athleisure, cooking appliances, and home decor will be in high demand and may sell out early.

It’s been reported that many retailers are scrambling to fulfill depleted inventory this season. To prevent missing out on desirable gifts, try to have your online shopping done by the end of November. There’s no telling how the increase in online purchases will impact product availability and shipping times, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Supporting Small Businesses Will Be More Important Than Ever

So many small businesses were heavily impacted by the pandemic shutdowns this year. Those that survived are depending on people doing their holiday shopping in 2020 at local retailers. If you can, shop at your neighborhood boutiques, hardware stores (often a great place to find holiday decor), and family-owned shops. It may mean a physical stop in the store if they don’t have a web presence, and it could cost you a few dollars more for an item, but it’s a great way to support your community while holiday shopping in 2020.

Here to Help with Holiday Shopping in 2020

We understand the events of this year have created challenges for many of our Members. As always, your Credit Union is here to support you with products and services designed to fit your needs. If you need a little extra spending money to help with holiday shopping in 2020, consider applying for a low-rate credit card or personal loan* to get you through the season. We can also help you create a budget and a savings plan for future holiday purchases. Contact us for details.


*All loans are subject to application, credit qualification, and income verification and approval.

Membership in Orange County's Credit Union is available to anyone who lives or works in Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, or San Bernardino Counties. Don't live or work in our area? You may also qualify if your immediate family Member banks with us. Ask us for details. Membership fee is $5.

Must be 18 or older to open an account online. Children's and Business accounts must be opened in-person.

Immediate Family Includes: Spouse, Child, Sibling, Parent, Grandparent ,Grandchild, Stepparent, Stepchild, and Adoptive Relationships.