Retailers Prepare for Online Holiday Shopping Surge

BY Kathy Crosett
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Are your clients preparing for the holiday shopping surge? The ecommerce channel has gradually increased its share of overall business over the past two decades. Since the COVID-​19 crisis began, consumers have come to rely on ecommerce, and the habits they’re forming now will carry through the 2020 holiday shopping season.

Holiday Gift Spending Plans

Radial, an operator in the omnichannel technology space, surveyed over 1,000 consumers about holiday shopping plans. Despite the economic challenges brought on by the coronavirus, consumers say they plan to spend at least as much on holiday gifts as they did last year. However, there will be a change in how they shop. At least 66% of consumers will turn to the online channel to place orders in the 2020 holiday season.

Delivery Expectations

The online marketplace will likely be more competitive than ever. Two retail heavyweights, Amazon and WalMart, will try to lock in business with their annual subscription programs that include shipping and other perks. In the past, 34.6% of consumers wanted their holiday gifts delivered within two days of placing the order. This year, at least 50% are willing to wait five days. Your clients may be able to court shoppers who want to buy specific items not carried by their large competitors and who don't have themselves set on same-​day delivery.

Online Holiday Shopping Surge

The other challenges faced by online retailers is all about timing. In a very short period of time, retailers will be expected to fulfill holiday-​related orders placed online. Just over 40% of shoppers don’t plan to change the timing of their holiday shopping this year. Here’s what they told researchers:

  • Consumers who will start shopping for holiday gifts in October: 39%
  • Consumers who will start shopping on Black Friday/​Cyber Monday: 30%

Your clients must prepare early to compete for their share of the holiday spending pie. They should be streamlining their omnichannel operations and preparing their ad campaigns now. Remind them to advertise their buy online pick up in-​store or pick up at curb services. When retailers promote their in-​store safety precautions, they’ll be scoring points with the 63% of shoppers who are looking for this kind of environment.

To help your clients plan their online selling and advertising campaigns for the end of the year, check out the AudienceSCAN profiles on Black Friday and Cyber Monday Shoppers. The profiles are available on AdMall by SalesFuel.