The holiday shopping season is nearly here, and it’s time for businesses to start getting ready.
E-commerce is expected to exceed $189 billion in the U.S. this year but could reach even higher if COVID-19 forces physical locations to remain closed. The pandemic has made holiday spending a bit uncertain, but here is what businesses can expect from holiday shopping this year.
Online Sales Will Lead
Online shopping during the holiday season has been growing each year, which is expected to continue this year. E-commerce saw a massive surge during the pandemic, and even as physical locations open up, most people are predicting e-commerce will reign during the holidays. Adobe expects sales to exceed $189 billion, a 33% year over year growth, and it could even surpass $200 billion if physical stores remain closed. Businesses should prioritize their online marketing for the holiday season. Invest in e-commerce platforms, run online sales, and boost social media marketing, online ads, and more.
Spending Outlook is Uncertain
Despite growing e-commerce spending, it’s still unclear how much people will actually be spending this year. Reports differ, with some like Feedvisor predicting U.S. consumers will spend as much as last year while others argue only a small percentage will spend the same as last year. Even consumers are uncertain, with 53% of consumers saying they are uncertain about how much they will spend. Many people lost their jobs, were furloughed, or on reduced hours due to COVID-19. Even though employment has bounced back, consumers don’t have the same savings or disposable income as they usually do during the holidays. If another round of stimulus payments come, spending is expected to increase, but it’s still up in the air.
Cyber Week Will Be Huge
Businesses should absolutely be participating in holiday sales this year. Consumers are more price-conscious, and many are expected to make most of their holiday purchases during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday. There will be fewer “door-busting” deals this year and substantially fewer customers in physical stores. Many major retailers such as Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, and JCPenney are even closing for Thanksgiving this year, a major move.
Expect BOPIS Bump
Though consumers are buying more online, long shipping times and large delivery windows mean more consumers will use Buy Online Pick Up in Store (BOPIS) during this holiday season. Adobe is saying BOPIS will be up 40% over 2019. Businesses should take advantage of this by offering more in-store pickup and deals.
Smartphone Shopping Surges
Smartphones are expected to be the driving force of online retails traffic this year, resulting in 60% more traffic and account for 42% of actual sales. This will be a 55% year over year growth of smartphone shopping revenues. This means businesses need to make sure their websites are mobile-optimized, ready for e-commerce, and use digital ads and social media to reach consumers.
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