After a brutal pandemic year that left many entrepreneurs struggling, Fresno businesses have revved up their operations for the holiday season.
Yelp Partners With Fresno For The Holidays
To commence the holiday spending, from Monday, Nov. 29, through Sunday, Dec. 12, social media platform Yelp has partnered with 20 small businesses in the Fresno area to help drive consumers to their shops, stores, and restaurants.
The widely used app will help local companies host a series of check-in offers using their app for discounts, deals, and events to help spread holiday cheer and contribute to the Fresno economy.
Apart from the deals, businesses will host community events such as a community yoga class, wine tasting, and a virtual holiday hand-lettering session.
COVID-19 Put A Damper On Holiday Spending
In previous years, Black Friday shoppers flocked to national chain stores and businesses as soon as Thanksgiving dinner was over.
However, the pandemic changed many of those holiday traditions, and according to a recent survey by WalletHub, in-person sales are down by 37% from 2019. The latest data shows 69 million Americans plan to spend less this holiday season than the previous year.
Besides the evident impact of the pandemic on holiday shoppers, what else is driving some consumers to spend less this season?
WalletHub’s survey reports 18% of Americans have credit card debt from the last holiday season, and 48% say they don’t pay for holiday purchases in full by the due date. One in four say they will forego holiday shopping in person because of COVID-19.
Fresno Businesses May Have A Better Spending Outlook
However, spending has not slowed down in the Central Valley, says principle strategist and creative director for Janzen Brands, Gary Janzen.
Valley businesses are in a better position to engage local consumers than national brands that might not be as closely in touch with their customers.
Now more than ever, businesses are in a good position to take advantage of consumer values, says Janzen. He points to offering low-cost services, sales, discounts, and above all — good customer service.
So while consumer spending is down throughout the nation, the interest to spend in Fresno is there, says Janzen.
“So many freedoms have been impacted, but the appetite is there,” says Janzen. “Consumers are willing to pay more for value, and value isn’t simply price. It’s an equation of price and what you get for that price.”
How to Stay Protected From Scams
For those who plan on holiday shopping online this year, experts warn that instances of fraud and scams start several weeks ahead of time.
Here’s a list of tips from the Better Business Bureau:
- If a deal looks too good to be true, it’s probably a scam.
- Any high ticket item with a discount higher than 15% is a red flag.
- Do not reply to spam or a suspicious text messages.
- Do not click unknown links on social media.
- Slow down, pay attention to what you’re buying.
- Protect devices with security software.
- Use credit cards for purchases
Information On Fresno Holiday Deals
For a list of offers and events from Fresno businesses partnering with Yelp, click here
If you want to support local businesses, you can participate in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27