What to Expect From Holiday Shoppers This Season

clockicon 5 minute read

 

The leaves aren’t the only things changing as we approach the holiday season – shoppers are changing too. Did you know that last year during Black Friday and Thanksgiving, physical retail stores saw a decrease of a billion dollars as people switched to shopping online? With the holidays just around the corner, businesses need to act quickly to capitalize on holiday shopper’s new expectations.

 

Heads up for the holiday creep

 

Over the past several years, we have seen the holiday creep continue. No this isn’t referring to a person, but rather the notion that each year holiday promotions are starting earlier. Did anyone notice back to school promotions starting as early as the beginning of July? Or Halloween candy being displayed in August? Promotional times are shifting up and in anticipation for this holiday season, nearly one third of consumers began holiday shopping before Labor Day. Some people may not enjoy the fact that promotions are slowly creeping up but it seems to be a trend that’s here to stay.

 

The big holiday shopping days (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) spark chaos and excitement. Except thanks to holiday creep, people are changing when they do their holiday shopping. In a Deloitte study, they found that shoppers are relying less on traditional shopping days. Instead, people are starting to spread out their purchases over a longer period of time. With holiday creep continuing to advance, businesses need to adapt to meet evolving customer expectations. For those looking to take advantage of the long holiday season, integrating channels for a holistic shopping experience is a must.

 

Omnichannel: the holiday hero

 

Customers are expecting more options when they shop this year and meeting their needs is essential for success. By creating a consistent customer experience across all channels, shoppers can choose when, where, and how they want to shop, making holiday shopping simple.

 

The holiday shopping scene can be somewhat frightening. The stores get cramped and line ups become long and chaotic. Some dread the experience and some live for it. Do your shoppers enjoy being surrounded by people and get excited for holiday shopping? Or are they more interested in pouring themselves a hot cup of coffee and getting comfortable on their couch with their laptops? Regardless of what they prefer, omnichannel retailing gives them the opportunity to bypass the holiday hustle or enter it more prepared. Giving customers choices also impacts the bottom line as omnichannel shoppers expect to spend 75% more than physical store-only holiday shoppers.

 

Over the past year, eMarketer has documented the change in customer shopping preferences. From February to July of this year, foot traffic and sales for physical retailers decreased each month, averaging 7% and 8% losses. While physical retailers have been experiencing a decline, their online counterparts have picked up the slack as overall retail sales continue to grow. For example, click and collect sales have grown from 9% to 23% of total online sales over the past few years and mobile has continued to grow over 30% each year. These changes show the transition from a one dimension to a multidimensional shopping experience, but retailers are turning most of their attention towards one area – mobile.

 

The momentum of mobile commerce

 

Ever since mobile commerce took off, more people are using their mobile devices to browse and shop online. Did you know that now there are more mobile devices than living people? With so many devices in the hands of consumers, you would expect mobile commerce to grow. Last holiday season it did just that, growing in purchases (17%) and even conversion rates (136%). Although mobile commerce currently only accounts for a small portion of digital sales, it still saw large growth last holiday season (59%) and with it brings about new opportunities for businesses.

 

However, mobile commerce is far from perfect as it still has a higher cart abandonment than desktops. But there is a fix – page optimization. A study by NetElixir found that businesses with optimized mobile sites experienced higher AOV and conversion rates than their competition. In order to make mobile commerce more attractive this holiday season, businesses need to focus on optimizing.

 

Optimizing sounds good in theory, but how can businesses increase their mobile website efficiency? Retailers should look towards minimizing page load times by creating drop down menus within their landing page to give customers all the information they need in one convenient location. Load speed is an important measure of optimization as only half a second increase in load time can result in a 20% drop in traffic. Moreover, businesses need to buff mobile payment/checkout pages as they are often the top reason for lost online sales and customer frustration with 46.1% of online customers abandoning their cart at this stage.

 

Creating an efficient shopping experience isn’t easy, but it is a worthwhile investment. Just look at Macy’s. In 2014, 70% of their sales on Black Friday came from mobile commerce and as their competition saw little or negative growth, they experienced massive gains in profit margins due to omnichannel expansion. Macy’s gave their shoppers more options on how to shop and in return they were rewarded with greater sales – it was a win-win.

 

Final word

 

Before ecommerce became a reality people doubted its anticipated success, but those who prepared for the evolution of commerce reaped the rewards. This year will provide interesting insights into where holiday shoppers place the most value and how they prefer to shop. Providing the best customer experience is not an option today, but rather a necessity as competition increases. Its best to be over prepared and businesses that accommodate omnichannel holiday shoppers will sleep well knowing that they are set up for success.

 

Enjoy the post? Check out How to Build a Customer-Centric Omnichannel Strategy – Part 1 Optimizing Your Checkout: User Experience 101 From Click to Brick: The Power of In-Store Pickup

clockicon 5 minute read

 

The leaves aren’t the only things changing as we approach the holiday season – shoppers are changing too. Did you know that last year during Black Friday and Thanksgiving, physical retail stores saw a decrease of a billion dollars as people switched to shopping online? With the holidays just around the corner, businesses need to act quickly to capitalize on holiday shopper’s new expectations.

 

Heads up for the holiday creep

 

Over the past several years, we have seen the holiday creep continue. No this isn’t referring to a person, but rather the notion that each year holiday promotions are starting earlier. Did anyone notice back to school promotions starting as early as the beginning of July? Or Halloween candy being displayed in August? Promotional times are shifting up and in anticipation for this holiday season, nearly one third of consumers began holiday shopping before Labor Day. Some people may not enjoy the fact that promotions are slowly creeping up but it seems to be a trend that’s here to stay.

 

The big holiday shopping days (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) spark chaos and excitement. Except thanks to holiday creep, people are changing when they do their holiday shopping. In a Deloitte study, they found that shoppers are relying less on traditional shopping days. Instead, people are starting to spread out their purchases over a longer period of time. With holiday creep continuing to advance, businesses need to adapt to meet evolving customer expectations. For those looking to take advantage of the long holiday season, integrating channels for a holistic shopping experience is a must.

 

Omnichannel: the holiday hero

 

Customers are expecting more options when they shop this year and meeting their needs is essential for success. By creating a consistent customer experience across all channels, shoppers can choose when, where, and how they want to shop, making holiday shopping simple.

 

The holiday shopping scene can be somewhat frightening. The stores get cramped and line ups become long and chaotic. Some dread the experience and some live for it. Do your shoppers enjoy being surrounded by people and get excited for holiday shopping? Or are they more interested in pouring themselves a hot cup of coffee and getting comfortable on their couch with their laptops? Regardless of what they prefer, omnichannel retailing gives them the opportunity to bypass the holiday hustle or enter it more prepared. Giving customers choices also impacts the bottom line as omnichannel shoppers expect to spend 75% more than physical store-only holiday shoppers.

 

Over the past year, eMarketer has documented the change in customer shopping preferences. From February to July of this year, foot traffic and sales for physical retailers decreased each month, averaging 7% and 8% losses. While physical retailers have been experiencing a decline, their online counterparts have picked up the slack as overall retail sales continue to grow. For example, click and collect sales have grown from 9% to 23% of total online sales over the past few years and mobile has continued to grow over 30% each year. These changes show the transition from a one dimension to a multidimensional shopping experience, but retailers are turning most of their attention towards one area – mobile.

 

The momentum of mobile commerce

 

Ever since mobile commerce took off, more people are using their mobile devices to browse and shop online. Did you know that now there are more mobile devices than living people? With so many devices in the hands of consumers, you would expect mobile commerce to grow. Last holiday season it did just that, growing in purchases (17%) and even conversion rates (136%). Although mobile commerce currently only accounts for a small portion of digital sales, it still saw large growth last holiday season (59%) and with it brings about new opportunities for businesses.

 

However, mobile commerce is far from perfect as it still has a higher cart abandonment than desktops. But there is a fix – page optimization. A study by NetElixir found that businesses with optimized mobile sites experienced higher AOV and conversion rates than their competition. In order to make mobile commerce more attractive this holiday season, businesses need to focus on optimizing.

 

Optimizing sounds good in theory, but how can businesses increase their mobile website efficiency? Retailers should look towards minimizing page load times by creating drop down menus within their landing page to give customers all the information they need in one convenient location. Load speed is an important measure of optimization as only half a second increase in load time can result in a 20% drop in traffic. Moreover, businesses need to buff mobile payment/checkout pages as they are often the top reason for lost online sales and customer frustration with 46.1% of online customers abandoning their cart at this stage.

 

Creating an efficient shopping experience isn’t easy, but it is a worthwhile investment. Just look at Macy’s. In 2014, 70% of their sales on Black Friday came from mobile commerce and as their competition saw little or negative growth, they experienced massive gains in profit margins due to omnichannel expansion. Macy’s gave their shoppers more options on how to shop and in return they were rewarded with greater sales – it was a win-win.

 

Final word

 

Before ecommerce became a reality people doubted its anticipated success, but those who prepared for the evolution of commerce reaped the rewards. This year will provide interesting insights into where holiday shoppers place the most value and how they prefer to shop. Providing the best customer experience is not an option today, but rather a necessity as competition increases. Its best to be over prepared and businesses that accommodate omnichannel holiday shoppers will sleep well knowing that they are set up for success.

 

Enjoy the post? Check out How to Build a Customer-Centric Omnichannel Strategy – Part 1 Optimizing Your Checkout: User Experience 101 From Click to Brick: The Power of In-Store Pickup