It has been a challenging year for in-person retail due to the pandemic severely limiting people’s ability to shop in-store and it is hard to predict what the near future will look like with continued disruption to opening hours, availability and low consumer confidence. Ecommerce, meanwhile, has continued to grow at a rapid rate in 2020 with people buying even more online as a safer and more reliable option.
The Holiday Season
Christmas is now just around the corner along with cyber weekend and traditionally this is the busiest time of the year for both in-person shopping and ecommerce. Things are likely to be different this year, though, with restrictions in place and people still concerned about virus transmission. Consequently, it seems that ecommerce could continue to grow over the holiday season as people look to shop online as opposed to visiting the high street.
A Chance for Ecommerce Stores
This has been researched recently by Loyaltylion who have some interesting findings and predictions for what the holiday season might look like for ecommerce. Despite economic uncertainty, 53% of shoppers will be on the lookout for deals and discounts over cyber weekend so this could be a profitable period for ecommerce stores. It could also be a good opportunity for stores to grow their customer base as just 25% of consumers won’t open emails from retails brands over this period 39% will spend more time researching brands on social media.
While customer acquisition is important, brands also need to retain their existing customers and the research found that 52% will prioritize shopping with brands that they already have points and rewards with. This means that an ecommerce loyalty program could be smart during this time of year and encourage your customers to keep coming back over cyber weekend, Christmas and the January sales.
Recommendations & Reviews
Your existing customers could also help you to acquire new customers this season too with 38% stating that they recommend products and brands to their friends and family. Additionally, 33% will leave reviews which are incredibly useful for attracting new customers and building your brand reputation – the key here is to follow up each order and to try and encourage reviews even if this is with an incentives.
Only 31% of people intend to visit a physical store over cyber weekend which goes to show that people are still concerned over the virus and may worry that cyber weekend would be busier than normal. Consequently, it seems likely that ecommerce could profit from this and will open new opportunities for online brands. It will be competitive, though, so stores will need to find a way to increase their visibility with digital marketing and social media both being important for standing out from the crowd.
It is clear that the holiday season will not be as busy as it usually is this year with more people turning to online shopping as a safer and more convenient option. This is good news for ecommerce stores that will be looking to capitalize on this and boost their sales over the holiday period.
Author: Craig Harbour, Senior Marketing Specialist for Webevents Limited, providing business insight and analysis
Holly brings a wealth of experience in both print and digital publishing. As Modern Retail’s Content Editor, Holly is passionate about helping independent retailers to thrive in today’s ever-changing market.