The year 2020 has changed all the records in history. Right from health, to business operations, and economies, everything took a toll. As businesses have changed the way they operate, so have consumer behaviours. A lot has changed; consumers think twice before buying anything, not just in terms of product quality and price but also their means of buying.
When the world in lock down, it was only the electronic and the eCommerce trade that saved us all. Merchants were surprised by the traffic that came in flowing to their eStores on the initial days of lockdown, quite like black Friday or cyber Monday sales.
Now that we are nearing the winter and the most awaited holiday season, merchants are eagerly waiting for the big-day sales. But this time, most of them are worried about it.
There are several questions like:
Is there even going to be a black Friday this year?
Is 2020 holiday season sales going to be extraordinary?
Are the physical stores going to be open at all? Or is it going to be eCommerce solely?
If yes, how should I prepare my eStore for it? Should I follow any specific strategies to match the new normal?
What about the changes in serving the changed consumer behaviour for in-store shoppers?
Well, we are going to answer them all for you! Let’s begin.
Is there even going to be a black Friday this year?
Of course! No pandemic is going to stop us from enjoying the black Friday’s tremendous fun. However, this time, it will be different. Many big brands have already announced being closed physically, but they are going to be super active online.
Home Depot declared its holiday season discounts to be extended for nearly two months and start promotions on their mobile app first.
Kristin McGrath of Black Friday.com says, “It’s still going to be some of the best deals we’ve seen all year. Retailers really need a successful holiday season this year,”
Hence, there’s a slight change to the all-time Christmas carol, ‘Tis the season to rush online… falalalala lalallala…
Is 2020 holiday season sales going to extraordinary? Are the physical stores going to open at all? Or is it going to be eCommerce solely?
As per Google Report, a significant chunk of U.S shoppers are planning to shop on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday in comparison to previous years. While big brands like Walmart, Macy’s, Kohl’s, and many more have already announced that they will remain closed for the season but will be fully available on eStores.
So, there’s good news for the retailers, 2020 holiday season sales will definitely be extraordinary.
How should merchants prepare for it?
In 2019, 78% of the U.S holiday sales were made from three or more channels, while online sales accounted for 58% solely. In the 2020 holiday season, the number of online sales through corresponding channels are most likely to increase tremendously. 75% of U.S. shoppers plan to shop more online than they did in previous seasons, and a similar number said they would browse for gifting ideas online and not in the stores.
What merchants must do to win the 2020 holiday season:
- Ensure your digital strategies are agile to meet the customer’s requirements.
- Retailers must divert their efforts towards eStores for various devices and channels, especially over mobile.
- Do whatever it takes to make your products visible online. The products must be discoverable on Google Shopping, free product listings, Search in the U.S.
- Optimize your websites, be ready for the never seen before traffic, and test its speed and user experience.
- Pull up your socks for social media marketing and strategies.
- 67% shoppers said they confirm if the desired product is in stock, while ‘Available near me’ searches have increased by 100%. Ensure your inventory is updated accurately; information is up to date, transparent, and easily accessible.
- Ensure you support almost all the payment solutions.
- Prepare your fulfilment operations and staff accordingly.
- Diversifying your suppliers this holiday season is a must.
In-store shopping and changed customer behavior
Even though maximum holiday season sales are predicted to occur online, 66% of shoppers plan to shop from the local small businesses.
Consumer behaviour must be on your top priority list when it comes to shopping in the post-pandemic period. As they prefer to shop locally or in-store; what they are looking for is pure safety! While there’s no doubt, in-store shopping is going to look very different this holiday season. Consumers will mainly prefer contactless delivery and curb side pickup. Google says 70% of shoppers plan to shop earlier this season to avoid crowds while some of them also plan to shop at once or on one trip.
At last, be it online or in-store shopping this holiday season, make sure you provide customers with the right information, the best experience, and safety!
i95Dev is a one-stop-shop for all your customer experience, eCommerce, and integration needs. We specialize in designing, developing, and maintaining B2B / B2C integrated omni-channel eCommerce solutions, powered by Magento.
Wishing you a happy 2020 festive season!
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