Over 70% of consumers are opting for staycations this festive season, while those who are going away will travel domestically. 

'Staycations' have been on the rise in South Africa for a few years; however, the survey indicates that over 65% of the 17 000 consumers surveyed expect businesses to remain open throughout the holidays.

This new survey data, combined with many consumers choosing to vacation closer to home, is great news for local businesses hoping to recoup some income after the devastating economic downturn in 2020, according to the study.

While 41% of Jacaranda FM's audience usually go on holiday during the festive season, 75% say they will be staying put this year. Eighty-three percent of East Coast Radio's audience is also opting for a staycation in 2020.

The study shows that consumers are also more cautious about how they spend their money, with more than 60% stating they cannot afford to go away for the holidays.

Many businesses reduce trading hours or operate with a smaller staff contingent during the slower, late December to early January period; however, but the habitual festive season shutdown is a thing of the past, the study shows.

Businesses trying to recover following a difficult lockdown period will need to be strategic about how they tackle the 2020 festive season but have been given a lifeline with survey results pointing towards spending taking place across the weeks leading up to 25 December and not just in a usual window experienced before.

For those planning to go away, about 60% of East Coast listeners who usually go away over the period say they will be taking shorter holidays, with Jacaranda FM's listener responses also at around 60%.

The study has indicated that businesses can make the most of the turn in consumer by:
  • using radio to communicate festive season offers to consumers: surveys conducted throughout the lockdown by Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio highlighted that people were listening to more radio during the pandemic than they did before.
  • using digital content: Radio and social media are the top two platforms consumers turn to when they need information about the latest festive season promotions. Businesses need to invest in traditional messaging but ensure you have a digital strategy that focuses on localised content.
  • planning ahead: The survey revealed that consumers are doing their holiday shopping weeks in advance, giving businesses an extended timeframe to promote themselves. Thirty-one percent of East Coast Radio's audience plan on taking advantage of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals in November, compared to 20% of Jacaranda FM listeners. Businesses should expect festive spending to form part of this pre-festive period, and
  • planning for flexible staff compliments to ebb and flow with increased local demand.
Eighty-eight percent of Jacaranda FM's listeners say they are likely to pay attention to festive season adverts they hear on radio, compared to 91% of East Coast Radio's audience, according to the study.

"Radio is still one of the greatest connectors of people. It chats to us in our cars, our homes and familiar places. Radio is trusted and engaging and businesses wanting to speak to customers must consider the role of radio," says Deidre King, Jacaranda FM's managing director.

According to the survey, 78% of both Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio's listeners are looking for more savvy ways to buy from their favourite brands, saying they will be more conservative in their spending habits. This creates opportunities for businesses of all sizes to influence how customers spend their money, says the study.

Boni Mchunu, East Coast Radio's managing director, says, "KwaZulu-Natal is expecting a bumper festive season since it is accessible and a good value for money destination."

"If you're a local business owner, we know you're keeping your doors open this December and so are we. It's the perfect time to welcome tourists who will be flocking to our shores, as well as KwaZulu-Natal residents who are travelling within the province during this time," concludes Mchunu.

For more information, visit www.jacarandafm.com or www.ecr.co.za.