In a year with more downs than ups, there have been some silver linings. For starters, ecommerce sales have soared. It’s only natural owing to the pandemic that most people would rather shop from home than go into stores.
This looks like an ongoing trend. E-retail revenues are projected to grow to USD 6.54 trillion by 2022, not to mention online shopping is one of the most popular online activities worldwide.
A Crazy Domains survey shows that with more consumers shopping online, Aussie startups consider capturing the digital demand as one of their success ingredients despite the COVID-19 crisis.
What ecommerce trends can you expect? More importantly, what can you do to benefit? Let’s take a closer look at the five main developments in the holiday sphere.
Holidays 2021 Trends and Predictions (+ How Your Small Biz Can Deck the Halls)
The importance of mobile phones
It should come as no surprise to learn that more and more consumers are gaining confidence in using their mobile phones for shopping. This is especially true for the holiday season.
In 2018, Cyber Monday generated USD 2 billion dollars, over half of which came from mobile devices. With this also comes the need for integrating mobile payment options to their online stores.
According to Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payment Report, the use of mobile payments is set to become the second most common payment method after debit cards by 2022.
This means that as an ecommerce business, you need to optimise for mobile. Make sure your website works across all devices, functionality and design-wise. Don’t forget to offer a range of payment options, including mobile phone payment services, to smoothen the checkout process for your customers.
Consumers love magical experiences
Customer experience has always been a major factor in online sales. In fact, one survey shows that 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for an improved experience.
During the holidays, those unwilling or unable to visit decorated brick-and-mortar stores need to feel the festive spirit online, too. For example, you can create a special pop-up section with limited-time offers and products, or use AI technology to create zones of immersion.
Gift guides, innovative use of social media like Instagram and Facebook, and unusual festive interfaces are some other ways of bringing home the magic. This can also lead to return visitors, a pattern that is known to increase the conversion rate.
The power of personalisation
Consumers expect personalisation as a service standard. They feel that a brand values them as an individual when they send out unique special offers or consider them as a customer across all touchpoints.
With people confined to their homes most of the time, personalisation is going to be even more important and motivating this year.
Savvy ecommerce merchants will make individual offers and product recommendations based on site visitors’ previous actions and demographics. They’ll also consider tailoring their content to match unique profiles.
Gathering data with permission, and then using it intelligently, will be a key factor. You can make customers feel recognised with relevant recommendations, smart segmentation, and omnichannel strategies.
Shipping is an important factor
Customers, more than ever, consider free shipping as an important element when shopping online. Fast shipping will also be a significant factor in making purchases.
It’s essential for ecommerce businesses to have an effective plan in advance. Small businesses should be keen to regularly assess their inventories and re-evaluate their shipping strategies.
Free shipping or discounted shipping rates should be clearly highlighted at the time of checkout. Giving consumers the ability to track their shipments is another attractive feature.
When done well, a range of automated shipping options and expedited deliveries can become a strong motivator for consumers who are impatient for their holiday shopping parcels to arrive.
Deals, discounts, and promotions
Bargains are a draw at any time, and during this year’s holiday season, they’re what a majority of consumers will look forward to.
Promotional strategies such as gift cards or free festive gift-wrapping will be big draws. Contests and giveaways will also be a part of most ecommerce sites. Relevance is important here; holiday themes are sure to be topical and attract interest.
Reward points and deals for loyal customers make compelling incentives. Many ecommerce retailers also use bundled options at attractive prices to create demand. Cashbacks and limited-time promotions will also gain traction at this time.
When promoted online, these deals and promotions will be more effective. Engage customers by sparking conversations on your social feed. You can also update your business listings, as people will be looking for them.
Get your site ready for the rush
Brace yourself for the holidays! Make sure your site can handle a surge by ensuring your hosting plan is cut-out to handle traffic spikes with ease. Choose a cost-effective option that comes with secure and advanced infrastructure, and you’ll be all set.