Inside a reimagined holiday season

Note from the editor

Black Friday traditionally marks the start of the shopping season, as retailers and analysts watch to see how trends and early indicators play out in the weeks between the sales kick-off and the holidays themselves. 

2020 was anything but traditional. E-commerce was already a big story in 2019, and with the specter of the coronavirus looming over the 2020 season that trend accelerated.

Amazon moved its annual Prime Day to mid-October, followed swiftly by announcements from Walmart and Target that they too would hold blockbuster sales during the same time frame. And effectively, the holiday shopping season was off and running.

How festive was the 2020 holiday season for retailers?

 

Holidays in review: What defined the season in 2020

From virtual services and contactless pickup to a Black Friday unlike any other, retailers were forced to adapt.

• Published Dec. 31, 2020

Will the e-commerce boom be a bust?

An unprecedented number of packages taxed retailers' ability to deliver. A lot were late, and that will have consequences beyond the holidays.

• Published Dec. 22, 2020

Most shoppers plan on making a return after the holidays

This year's online surge means a record number of items could make their way back onto shelves. Retailers should see it as an opportunity.

• Published Dec. 21, 2020

Winners and losers of Black Friday 2020

Online sales, curbside and store pickup have all surged as a sales event defined by the pandemic took shape.

• Published Nov. 28, 2020

5 ways retailers adapted to a Black Friday unlike any other

Curbside sales, staggered discounts, websites that hold your place in line — retailers reinvented Black Friday for a pandemic.

• Published Nov. 16, 2020

October's deal blitz set the stage for the holidays with online spending surge

• Published Nov. 13, 2020

Takeaways from the 2020 holiday season

2020 was anything but traditional. E-commerce was already a big story in 2019, and with the specter of the coronavirus looming over the 2020 season that trend accelerated. Amazon moved its annual Prime Day to mid-October, followed swiftly by announcements from Walmart and Target that they too would hold blockbuster sales during the same time frame. And effectively, the holiday shopping season was off and running. How festive was the 2020 holiday season for retailers?

included in this trendline
  • How Walmart, Target, and Amazon started the season early
  • A Black Friday unlike any other
  • How retailers optimized the e-commerce boom in 2020