With Christmas upon us, many of us are frantically trying to remember all of the hints that our loved ones have dropped through the year, or are lost in a sea of gift wrap and sticky tape, trying to hide the presents from the kids.
However, 2020 looks a bit different from previous years.
No – that is an understatement. It looks VERY different from previous years.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we go about doing most aspects of our lives, and of course, this has had a significant impact on our Christmas shopping habits. It is not all doom and gloom, however.
While in-store shopping figures are much lower than they usually would be at this time of year, the online sales figures have gone through the roof.
Here, we look at some of the key 2020 holiday shopping stats for those involved in marketing to cast their eyes over.
We do not know how long this pandemic is going to be around, but we know that it has more than likely changed the way we shop for good. Knowing what is working and what isn’t working and how online customers are behaving is useful information.
How has COVID-19 impacted holiday shopping?
40% of Americans are forecast to spend less money in 2020 than they did the previous year. This is plausible due to the global effects of Coronavirus, which has wiped out millions of jobs across the world and contributed to a serious decline in the economy.
Research from Finders suggests that retailers and service providers are expected to lose more than $12.9 billion, with total spending dropping from $107 billion to $93.4 billion in the 2020 holiday season.
More notably, brick and mortar shopping is predicted to decrease due to fears around the coronavirus in 2020. According to Accenture, more than half of all customers around the country are opting out of going into stores and sticking to buying gifts and produce online this year.
It is also thought that over Cyber Monday – the Monday after Thanksgiving and Black Friday – eCommerce sales hit a whopping $.4 billion. This makes it the largest online shopping day ever recorded in the United States.
- Over the past year, eCommerce spending rose by 13.1% (Adobe)
- The average spend per online order increased by 17% in 2020 (BigCommerce)
- On Cyber Monday 2020, eCommerce sales hit $27 billion (Digital Commerce 360)
- More than half of people in the US are opting out of retail shopping (Accenture)
Smartphones Versus Desktop
According to Digital Commerce 360, mobile sales were predominantly responsible for producing $38.8 billion of sales from 1 November to 31 December 2018, while $11.2 billion was the result of sales made from tablet devices.
In 2018, for the first time in history, smartphones were the main driver of web traffic.
In 2017, 46 percent of web traffic came from smartphones; by 2018 that had shot up to 46 percent. We are expecting to see that figure increase even more in 2020.
These figures show why it is so important that retailers and their website team ensure that the site is perfectly optimized for mobile traffic. Ensure that you focus on speed, ease of use, how easy it is to check out, and the overall user experience.
Not only that, in-app purchases are showing an increase in popularity, so if your eCommerce does not have an app, it is time to think about getting one into place ready for next year. These are a great way to encourage brand recognition and loyalty and can give your customers all of the information that they need to hand.
You can also use push notifications to encourage them to go into the store if they are near one or send through vouchers, discount codes, and other perks exclusive to app users.
It was predicted that when it came to holiday shopping in 2020, artificial intelligence would be at the forefront, with up to 85 percent of all online sales to be A.I. based. Retailers can take the data that they have and use this to create personalized shopping experiences.
Free shipping is always a plus
Many people – 47 percent, in fact, do not want to pay for shipping (Metapack). If your budget allows it, offer a free period of shipping during the holiday season to encourage more people to purchase from you.
Needless to say, it will have a huge effect and dramatically boost holiday season revenues. However, if you cannot provide free shipping, at least consider providing a discount on shipping, and whatever you do, do not let the online shopper choose your competition over you.
Emails still reign during the holiday season. Klayvio suggests emails contribute 27 percent to the figures on holiday spending at Black Friday and Cyber Monday peaks.
Approximately 500,000 online traders have claimed that emails have given them higher sales. Check out these stats below to see where conversions come from:
- Email Conversions: 4.29%
- Organic Search: 3.04%
- Direct Sales: 2.93%
The influence of social media
Social media and the influencers that promote products and brands there are proving to be a huge influence on holiday shopping, with 48% of U.S. consumers will consider purchasing products promoted in social media ads (Smarty.io).
The study also found that 57 percent of holiday shoppers believe that ads on social media help them to find new gift ideas, and of those who plan to purchase, 40% are likely to spend at least $50. Facebook and Instagram are the top platforms for product advertising to work, although TikTok is rapidly gaining in popularity.
In 2020, TikTok was the most downloaded app. Brand takeover ads – the ads that appear as soon as the app is launched – guarantee a whopping five million daily impressions.
Of course, they come at a cost, but with impressions like that, if your budget allows for it, it is worth considering.
The key takeaways from these stats are that you need to ensure that your website is perfectly optimized for mobile users, that you consider offering free shipping over the holiday period, and that you utilize the power of social media.