Yelp Names 2020 Holiday Shopping Trends for Socially Distant Cheer

The holiday season is nearly upon us! Whether you’re guilty of re-gifting your sister-in-law the same candle now five years in a row or you’ve earned a reputation as the most thoughtful secret Santa in the family, Yelp is here to help fuel your creativity and make you the most amazing local gift giver around this holiday season. 

With Small Business Saturday (November 28) a month away, holiday shoppers are making their lists and checking them twice as they prepare to spend money at local businesses around the country. Small Business Saturday can be one of the busiest and most profitable days of the year for many retailers, and many people are thinking of how they can support their favorite local businesses this year

Here are 7 shopping trends to consider ahead of the unofficial start of the holiday season. 

Values-Driven Gifting: Searches for Black-owned businesses are up 6,500*%, mentions of women-owned in reviews is up 114% compared to the same time last year. Yelp users are looking to support businesses in line with their values more than ever before. This year, we expect Americans to not only give thoughtful gifts to their loved ones, but to shop with their values to feel good about the businesses they’re supporting with their purchases. Use Yelp to find Black-ownedLatinx-owned and Women-owned businesses this season.

Spreading Cheer with Health & Wellness: With fluctuating local guidelines, we expect people to search for ways to stay active to be a popular pick this season — think a private trainer session or a gift card to a local studio. Searches for small gyms (up 499%), gyms with personal or private trainers (up 75%) and cardio equipment (up 10,922%) spiked earlier this year amidst the pandemic, comparing June 2020 to June 2019, and we expect fitness related gifts to be a trend this season. Boutique studios, like OrangeTheory, Barry’s Bootcamp and F45, also saw a spike in searches as people look to support their favorite workout studios.

Friendsgiving, at a Distance: Whether you’re looking for free shipping, delivery or in-store pickup, users are looking for stores who can adapt to their new gift giving needs this holiday season and BOPIS (“buy online, pick up in-store”) is a great option for your socially distant holiday shopping. If you can’t make it to a loved one’s Thanksgiving celebration, think about contacting a local bakery and sending a pie. Searches for cake delivery (up 59%) and cake shops (up 410%) are popular as people prepare for Friendsgiving.*

Photo via Business Owner

Ho-Ho-Home: We’re spending more time at home than ever. Giving the gift of a home service that makes a space feel a little more cozy and special and crosses something off of a loved one’s to-do list – a deep cleaning service, a closet makeover, virtual interior design consultations – will be popular choices this year. Searches for interior design are up 305%, comparing September 2020 to September 2019.

Giving the Gift of Glamping: Many travel plans were cancelled in 2020, and people spent more time at home than ever. Consumers want to be able to look forward to trips they can take in the future. With international travel guidelines up in the air, expect people to be gifting travel experiences in the U.S., especially ones that work well for social distancing – think glamping, lodges, and countryside getaways with activities like wineries or farm visits. We saw searches for glamping increase almost 300% between May 1 and July 20, and expect the trend to continue to rise in 2021. 

Photo via Tessa W

Shopping Small and Shopping Local: Many Americans saw their communities and their beloved small businesses face challenges during 2020. Local gifts will mean even more to loved ones in your community who want to see local businesses thrive. Whether it’s a gift card to a new local restaurant or coffee shop, or a locally-made item from a neighborhood boutique, 2020 holiday shopping will be all about adding local flare. 

Social Biking: Bikes are back. Whether you need a new way to workout because your gym is closed or you’re looking for a fun, socially distant activity with friends, 2020 is the year of the bike renaissance. Interest in bikes spiked in May as the weather started to warm up and interest has remained steady throughout the year. 

What gifts are on your shopping list this year? Tell us what you’re buying this season — on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @yelp!

**From 6/18/2020 to 8/23/2020, we saw a 6,520% increase in search frequency for Black-owned businesses (and related terms) vs over the same days last year.
**Searches in the restaurant and food categories during the week of 9/21/2020 compared to the week of 9/21/2019 to determine the year-over-year relative change in search share.