Be Thankful: 10 Things to be Grateful for in 2020

Finding things to be thankful for can be a tricky proposition even in the best of times, and with the items dominating the news cycle these days, looking for bright spots can be a challenge. But even so, there are hopeful signs that the end of the year will conclude with some items that help give us a little extra to be thankful for.

  1. Retail Sales Are Climbing

While the COVID-19 pandemic is still making headlines, there are some hopeful signs.  Economists with the Dow Jones say that consumers spent at a significantly faster pace than expected in September, with retail sales climbing nearly 2% in a sign that the U.S. economy’s biggest driver remains healthy.

Clothing and accessories led to an increase in spending, rising by 11% while sporting goods, music, and books jumped 5.7%. Electronics and appliances experienced a decrease, however, the only major sector that was negative, dropping 1.6% from the August levels.

  1. People Are Beginning to Shop More Online

If you’re an e-commerce company or have a significant online presence, the news that the days of brick and mortar may be waning is good news. Why? Digital shopping is on a rapid increase. In recent studies released by Salesforce Inc., 63% of consumers underwent a transformation in obtaining goods and services this past year; 57% said the same about the ways they engage with companies. 62% of respondents reported their offline lives were also affected while an equal percentage said it also changed their online lives.

Additionally, 68% said COVID-19 elevated their expectations of companies’ digital capabilities, 61% expect an increase in their online behavior, and finally, 60% said their relationships with technology has changed as a result of the pandemic.

This time last year the figures were 42% online and 68% offline and trends show that behavior is expected to continue. About 88% of customers expect a variety of companies of all kinds to increase digital initiatives due to the pandemic and 83% expect retailers to provide more flexible shipping and fulfillment options such as buy-online-pick-up-in-store.

  1. The Election Season is Drawing to a Close

American elections can be quite a spectacle and few more so than a national presidential election. This year was no exception as our two candidates seem to exist on opposite ends of a polarizing political spectrum. By this time this piece runs, the election will probably be history, but there’s no denying that this was an unusual year. Add that to a number of down-ticket elections that also have grabbed a fair share of headlines… voter fatigue is playing out for many Americans in very real ways. It’s time for the healing to begin and hopefully, it will begin quickly. 

  1. The Holiday Seasons Will Soon Be Here

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and all the other holidays we observe give us time to reflect and consider how much good there is in sharing a spirit of giving and enjoying time with family and friends. It is also the time of year upon which many companies rely on their yearly budgets. Everything points towards optimism in the stock market and financial sectors, which is great news for retailers.

  1. Festive Decorations

 

Nothing says the holiday season like dressing up your store with all the holiday trimmings. From signs and banners to winter motifs, it’s one of the more creative endeavors small business owners get to indulge in all year. 

  1. Give Thanks For The Little Things

As a business owner, doing the little things for your customers means the world to them this time of year. A personalized email or, better yet, card in the mail can make their day. Special offers for return customers only also make them feel special.

  1. Don’t Forget the Big Things

A home, a good job, good health… and business owners get to play a hand in that now more than ever. Safety banners and signs, including safe distancing signs, hygiene signs, safe distance floor stickers, custom masks – they are all a vital part of a brick and mortar business’s role as protector of the community.

  1. The Gift of Giving

It’s easy sometimes to forget the obvious essentials, but food and water are critical items we need every day. Indeed, so many of our holidays are built around meals that they seem inseparable. Donating to the local community through established charities builds relationships that are priceless. Better still, they make you feel good as well

  1. A Gesture of Thanks 

Since most company holiday parties are being canceled, that frees up some budget allocations to do some special things for your employees. From creating custom T-shirts and masks to personal mugs and cards containing gift cards, giving back to your employees lets them know you care.

  1. Looking Ahead to a Fresh Start on 2021

Let’s face it: 2020 has been… unconventional. Take it as an opportunity to start new. Rebrand your company with more contemporary graphic design work, logos, and messaging. Get to work on new signage and really launch your new image in a new year with nothing but a bright future ahead of you.

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