By now you’ve probably come to the realization that the holiday season is barreling down like a runaway train. You can’t stop it; you can only hope to contain it. Holiday online sales are expected to see another huge jump—with some organizations predicting anywhere from 15-20% growth in business between November and December this year.
We will touch on five trends that we’re seeing in the e-commerce industry which will help prepare e-commerce businesses to make the most of the holiday season this year. With holiday sales accounting for almost 25% of the total e-commerce sales in 2012, there is an abundance of business out there to be had.
1. Early Shoppers
With consumer confidence continuing to increase, more people are looking forward to the holiday season, and they are also starting to shop sooner. A recent article from Google says that nearly 30% of people plan to start their shopping before Halloween. While the majority of purchases are made after Black Friday, don’t forget those early birds out there who are looking to get a jump start on their shopping lists.
2. Competitive Pricing
While there are many positive predictions for the 2013 e-commerce holiday season, online shoppers are also becoming much more price conscious. Thanks to Google and a plethora of online shopping venues, shoppers are less likely to be brand loyal than they have been in the past. This means e-commerce businesses will need to accommodate for showroomers, just like many of the big-box retailers.
3. New Competition
With brick-and-mortar retail sales not exactly at record levels, many businesses are searching for ways to make up that gap in revenue. These same business owners read all the news about how e-commerce has seen substantial growth numbers year over year. So where do you think they’re going to turn to make up that lost revenue? Considering it is extremely easy to set up an online store with e-commerce providers (such as MyCommerce—wink wink) the answer to gaining that missing revenue is clear.
Mobile shopping made up 16% of the e-commerce market last year according to eMarketer. That number is only going to increase as greater numbers of individuals are ditching their laptops and desktops in favor of tablets and smartphones. However, shoppers are not just using their mobile devices for making purchases. They also do plenty of research on their devices. Make sure your site is optimized for mobile—whether that is a strictly mobile site or one with responsive design. Believe me, if you don’t, your competition will thank you.
Customizing communications to consumers is a trend sweeping through B2C marketing channels right now. You can now send your audience personalized communications based on what they have purchased from you in the past. Take the data you have and use it to help encourage more sales. Some estimates indicate that retailers are seeing anywhere from 15-25% increase in sales if their marketing communications feature some sort of personalized product recommendations.
While planning your holiday marketing strategy can be daunting, with the right preparation and taking some time to analyze what is working within the e-commerce industry, it can truly be the most wonderful time of the year!