Shopping Strategies to Help Consumers – Interview

Shopping Strategies to Help Consumers – Interview

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Navigate through this year’s unusual holiday season. Topping America’s gift lists? Key items for working remotely and learning from home.

It goes without saying that the 2020 Holiday Season will be anything but normal. The effects of COVID-19 are continuing to impact families across the country and may be felt even more severely as businesses and school districts try to manage an uncertain winter season.

According to a recent study, some employees won’t be returning to their offices until we are well into 2021, while others may never see their office again. After careful evaluation, 68% of large-company CEOs now have plans to downsize their offices permanently, according to a recent report.

At the same time, currently more than half of American children under 18 (64%) have two parents working from home while they simultaneously take part in remote learning.

As families across the country adapt to this “new normal”, their holiday shopping lists have evolved, with an increased need for products and services that can help to ease this transition. The essentials parents and children need for both working and learning from home will undoubtedly top the list of holiday gifts, as Americans continue to adjust to their new realities.

For Students: Learning-at-home key items include:

  • Desks
  • Laptops and tablets
  • Noise-canceling headphones
  • Online learning tools
  • Blue light blocking glasses
  • Writing essentials

For Parents: Remote working key items include:

  • Upgraded tech essentials like printers and monitors
  • Webcams and ring lights
  • Office furniture such as lamps, ergonomic chairs, and standing desks
  • Organization & storage products

Retailers, like Staples, are offering shoppers smart office setup and inspiration, the latest remote technology, and more to support this life transition consumers are facing; and they’re encouraging customers to think differently about their homework and learning set-ups by inspiring them through helpful content.

With 42% of consumers hoping to reduce their time spent in-store this holiday season[1] and 85% of shoppers reporting that they’ve increased curbside pickup orders since COVID-19 began, it’s expected consumers will also continue to take advantage of the services like BOPIS aka buy online, pick-up in-store”, curbside pickup and same-day delivery.

Join me for a recent interview with Amy Lang, SVP, Strategy & Insights at Staples Stores as she was able to talk about upcoming holiday shopping trends for 2020 and how retailers will be adjusting to support consumers’ wants and needs during this unprecedented time.

See the entire interview here:

For more information, go to

More about Amy

Amy Lang

Senior Vice President, Strategy & Insights

Amy Lang is a dynamic strategist with strong operations and analytics fundamentals.  She is passionately curious about her customers and believes strategy starts with the customer’s need and ends with their experience. She enjoys tackling business challenges, digging into analytics for insights, and embracing changing markets and technology to drive better business outcomes.

Amy joined Staples in 2006 and has worked in the corporate strategy team, store operations, sales operations, and ran the Print Merchandising team for several years, overseeing the $700M+ tri-channel services portfolio.  As part of her continued leadership development she took roles in HR overseeing Talent Management and, when Staples was purchased by private equity and restructured, Amy was promoted into the VP, Store Experience role under the CEO of US Retail.  From there Amy has moved into strategy roles, most recently as SVP, Strategy & Insights overseeing the brand and customer strategy evolution as Staples Retail is transformed for the future.

Prior to her time at Staples, Amy worked at Bain & Co., American Express, and investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.

Amy has a unique and personal view of the world of the Staples customer. As a mom, she is supporting two elementary students as they learn from home, while she herself works from home. In addition to her role at Staples, Amy and her husband are part owners of small independent restaurant, which gives her a direct perspective into the experience of a small business.  Amy received her BA in Economics from Williams College in 1997 and her MBA from Harvard Business School in 2004.  She lives in Sudbury, MA with her husband, their two young daughters, and their dog.

Interview courtesy: Staples

Cynthia Tait

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