GREAT FALLS — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has become more popular than ever before, and these shopping trends have shifted the way many small businesses are going about the holiday season. Curbside pick-ups and home deliveries have become a popular way for the stores to help their customers.
Some have even opted to create their own websites since the beginning of the pandemic, to make their products more accessible to everyone.
“We started right away when re-opened working toward the goal of a website,” said Dragonfly Dry Goods owner Alison Fried. “We had always had like a small presence but we started transitioning in as much product as possible.”
A new study estimated that 95% of American shoppers haven’t shopped in-store this year due to COVID-related health concerns and fear of crowds. The study also found that 54% of people have lowered their holiday shopping budgets this year.
But as Christmas approaches, many people are out visiting retail shops, looking for those last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers.
“The last week or so there has been an increase in customers,” said Monique Meehan, owner of Real Deals on Home Decor & Boutique, located at 117 Park Drive South. “Our male customer base usually increases this time of year so we sell a lot of gift cards.”
Store owners would like to thank those who have come out to support them this holiday season, and if you’re still looking for some last-minute gifts - they’re not far away.