While most visualize the holidays as a time to relax and enjoy time with family and friends. Retailers view it as the busiest shopping time of the year. Prior to 2020, the typical holiday shopping season included large crowds camping out early for deals and mobs crowding the best electronic devices. Due to the effects of the global pandemic, the majority of holiday shopping will take place online this year, thus, pushing the value of eCommerce.
How Things Are Changing
While there’s no end in sight for when things will be back to ‘normal’, consumers are adapting accordingly. More than a third of U.S. shoppers who normally shop in-store for Black Friday say they won’t this year. On top of that, over half of U.S. shoppers say that the pandemic will directly affect how they’ll shop for the holidays this year. This change in sentiment and value are sure signs that a change in consumer behavior is bound to happen.
For most retailers, the holiday shopping season accounts for 19% of total annual retail sales. With so much on the line, end of the year sales can really make or break a business. And in the times of a post-pandemic world—it is all the more important to stay profitable. In order for retailers to avoid being negatively affected by the pandemic, it is important that they stay proactive to the needs of consumers.
Most Purchases Start Online
One of these developing consumer needs is the need for multiple online channels. Consumers are placing a higher value on online channels and leveraging it when making buying decisions. Most importantly, they are going online before making their purchases, to research products, compare prices, show in-store availability, curbside options, or simply purchase a product online. This all carries tremendous weight once they are finally ready to check out.
This year 87% of shoppers began product searches on digital channels, up from 71% last year. If these findings show anything, it’s that customers have steadily increased the importance of going online to research before buying. And with the added precautions most consumers are taking due to the pandemic, now more than ever they will turn to online channels to also fulfill their product needs online.
Safety Is a High Priority
Once shoppers are comfortable returning to in-store shopping, it’ll come with some valid concerns. For one, customers are more aware of their safety when returning to in-store buying and will value the security of curbside pickup and contactless payment.
Over half (53%) of all polled shoppers said they plan to shop at stores that offer contactless shopping. And nearly half (47%) of shoppers said they plan to buy online, pickup in-store, or curbside pickup. With these overwhelming reports, it is evident that consumers will be more cautious than ever when shopping this holiday season.
Why eCommerce is the Answer
While the Coronavirus is creating unique problems for businesses, one certainty this holiday season is that online shopping will be immensely important. These consumer insights are just a small look into how businesses can better cater to their customers in a post-pandemic world. That’s why it’s crucial to get your business visible and accessible online.
With the help of Kodella’s team of experts, we can get your business up and running on an eCommerce platform quickly and efficiently. Our team has helped over 100 customers grow, adapt, and reach their business goals. Contact our team today to get a free quote.