NORFOLK, Va. - The 2020 holiday season is approaching as the coronavirus pandemic continues to surge across the nation and the world.
Despite the pandemic's effect on the economy, holiday shopping is expected to increase compared to 2019, according to the consumer firm NPD Group. The organization projects consumers will spend an average of $691 during the 2020 holiday season.
The holiday shopping increase will most likely happen online instead of in brick-and-mortar malls and stores.
Financial analyst Dominick Miserandino said he also foresees this trend.
"You can't physically have, on Black Friday, 500 people waiting outside the store,” he said. "I don't know if that's going to come back."
The firm projects a 7 percent increase in online shopping. It attributes the increase in overall holiday shopping because of people wanting "to bring joy during challenging times."
NPD Group also stated people are opting for options like free shipping instead of special sales. No matter where you are shopping, Miserandino advised consumers to look after one’s own finances.
"I feel like we sometimes we have this bar set of that mandated minimum amount to spend,” Miserandino said. “To me, it should be mandated in terms of that emotion and connecting with people."
Miserandino suggested making a gift if you have the resources, such as a painting. He also suggested, for those with friends or family in other cities and states, to contact that person’s favorite local business and order a gift card or gift certificate to that business. He said this method will also help support the local economies.
If you insist on buying gifts, take advantage of credit card offers where you can get cash back, or purchasing gift cards where purchasing a certain amount gets you a reward with a smaller value.
"We should be spending for what matters, and not simply to spend as much to match what you feel it should be," Miserandino said.