As our customers begin preparing for holiday 2020, we have been working to gather insights to help our community be as prepared as possible for the unpredictable nature of this upcoming season. After surveying our retailers plus examining search and purchase data from the Faire marketplace, we’ve compiled a few predictions and trends to keep in mind over the next few months.
According to our survey data, the bulk of Faire retailers intend to start buying for the holiday season early September through early October. Over half of our retailers reported that they’ll be buying for holiday later than they did in 2019. Furthermore, the majority of retailers reported they would be focusing primarily on holiday gift-giving — with a decreased focus on Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Years.
Buying closer to a new season helps retailers stay on trend, and allows time to observe changing consumer preferences in a retail environment that is evolving quickly. We predict that retailers may place smaller orders throughout the late summer and early fall in preparation for holiday.
Consumer shopping habits
Our survey data shows that 43% of Faire retailers predict they’ll be busiest from mid-November to mid-December. Typically, about 25% of our retailers expect the week before Christmas to be their busiest — but this year, only 19% of retailers think that will be true.
The desire to shop earlier this year can be attributed to the desire to avoid crowds and the concern around timely package delivery. As a result of these considerations, we predict that curbside pickup, in-store pickup for online purchases, and other creative tactics will be attractive to consumers who are looking for more reliable shopping options this year.
Here’s a question we haven’t had to answer before — what do consumers buy for loved ones during a global pandemic? For insight into what’s popular now, here’s what’s trending among retailers on Faire.
On Faire, many of our retailers shop by brand value to find products that resonate with their customers. Our top trending brand values include:
- Made in the USA. Products that are made in the United States are desirable to our retailers. Last holiday season, 50% of Americans reported they would prefer to receive gifts that were made in the USA.
- Handmade. This is our second most-sought-after value. In 2019, 37% of millennial women said they would prefer to receive a handmade gift.
- Eco-friendly. Sustainable and eco-friendly goods have been a top trend in 2020, and are highly popular with Faire retailers.
We’ve been monitoring popular items during the pandemic to see what’s fresh, new, and in demand. Our top trending products in the last few months include:
- Tie dye. This trend has been a hallmark of the pandemic. We continue to see buyers search for “tie dye” at nine times the rate of searches in early March 2020. Brands demonstrating this trend include Twenty Second, Shiraleah, Ces Femmes and Etymology Jewelry.
- Face mask add-ons. Lanyards and chains are in high demand as consumers look to accessorize their masks. In July, searches for “mask necklace” and “face mask lanyard” were over 20 times higher than the prior month.
- Hair accessories. Scrunchies, tortoise-shell clips, and studded snap clips are having a moment. KITSCH, a women-owned accessories brand, has been among the top searched brands on Faire this month and saw an 134% increase in search volume over the last month. Other hair accessory brands we love include NAT + NOOR and Bow Arts.
- Political accessories. It’s an election year, and voter accessories are gaining popularity. The search for “vote” increased this month by 125% over last month. Larissa Loden Jewelry has seen her “VOTE” mantra necklace gain traction after Michelle Obama wore a similar style at the Democratic National Convention.
The pandemic has changed the behavior of consumers in many ways, which has resulted in changing preferences and sentiments.
- Gardening. As we spend more time at home this year, nesting and gardening have become popular hobbies of many. Retailer searches for planters, pottery, and ceramics have hit an all time high this month. On Neighborhood, Faire’s consumer marketplace, planters have been the second highest searched product (after face masks) over the last 90 days.
- Pets. After pet ownership skyrocketed during the pandemic, an increasing number of consumers looked to local retailers to source their pets’ toys and supplies. As a result, searches for “dog,” “cat,” and “pet” products reached an all time high on Faire.
- Expression through color. Apparel designer Sinae Kim told us that bright colors have been her best sellers since the beginning of the pandemic. About 27% of retailers look to color trends to support their buying. Watch our live session with Patti Carpenter to hear her predictions on the more functional, versatile color palette of the 2020 holiday season.
To hear more about this year’s trends, tune into our session hosted by Lauren Cooks Levitan at Faire Summer Market.