With everything that’s happening in 2020, it is startling to think that we are only a few months away from the holiday season. Undoubtedly, this holiday shopping season will look different compared to previous years. For many, it is set to be more crucial than ever for the success of their online business, considering the upheaval they’ve been put through since the coronavirus outbreak. Nonetheless, it’s also going to be more important than ever for people to share gifts with their loved ones – and this might offer online businesses a reason to rejoice. It is, hence, even more important to stay on top of how to prepare your eCommerce store for a pandemic holiday shopping season.
- Start planning and strategizing your online business plan for the holiday season right away
The new normal suggests that the majority of holiday shopping will be done digitally in 2020. Without question, holiday shopping had already become increasingly digital in recent years. In 2019, Black Friday brick-and-mortar retail sales fell 6.2% compared with 2018, according to ShopperTrak, while online shopping grew 14%. We might have been heading in the direction of online shopping, but in the context of the global pandemic, many online players were sprinting there as data from Qubit reveals that only 28% of consumers in the U.S. and the U.K. feel comfortable returning to stores as of July 2020. Roughly two-thirds of consumers still did at least some of their holiday shopping in person in 2019, and roughly a third still did all of it in store. Considering that virtually all the holiday shopping will be done online, businesses aren’t about to face a wave of new online shoppers: they’re about to face a tsunami. It is, more than ever, important to start getting ready now. To start, ensure you’re eCommerce’s technical side is up to the challenge, taking recommendations about server stability and payment methods from previous years even more to the letter. Moreover, get your marketing tactics straightened out, especially with regards to pricing and offers, as the competition will be ever-more ferocious this year.
- Offer a fully personalized online shopping experience
Not so long ago, personalized marketing was seen as the future of business by top industry professionals. In 2020, this has become the norm. As brand loyalty is decreasing amidst the uncertainties of the pandemic, 37% of shoppers state they now shop with more brands than they did a year ago; 46% say they are less loyal to the brands they love. Additionally, 52% say they recognize when a brand is using personalization and two-thirds expect personalized experiences once they have shopped with a brand. 70% of consumers would share data with brands for a more personalized experience. To offer the ultimate personalized experience and respond to the intensifying consumer demand, consider adding product personalization capabilities to certain products or categories as a differentiator for your online store,. After all, what better way is there to secure loyalty than to offer customers the chance to add their own touch to the product they want? Indeed, this remains one of the best marketing strategies to engage millennials and gen-Zers, and doesn’t fare so badly with your already loyal customers from older generations either!
- Make sure you feature 2020’s must-have products
For a successful upcoming holiday shopping season, it should be no surprise that a customized online shopping experience from beginning to end must come with the appropriate offering. These comprise of quite a few categories of products for which you can get pretty creative with a powerful product personalization solution. One of these categories is personalized gifts and accessories, which are indeed a niche market ready to be conquered – including customized pet-themed accessories and gifts for pet owners and pets alike. Another one of these categories is personalized home décor, a leading driver of growth for online retailers in 2020, fueled by the stay-at-home measures and the necessity to make that space more convivial. Also, a great classic category poised to be even more gifted in these times when people want to express appreciation for the good memories with loved ones is the premium photobook.
Nothing about 2020 has been easy, and preparing for the holiday shopping season won’t be without challenges. Per new data from Qubit, we are in fact going towards a lasting shift to eCommerce accelerated by COVID-19. Nonetheless, there are steps to take to prepare your online store to stand out and these include product personalization, as well as featuring the right offering. Indeed, those who put in the work now and are willing to challenge conventional methods will get a leg up on the future. If you are ready to differentiate your webstore and grow your eCommerce brand during this pandemic holiday shopping season with product personalization, take the time to look at what you need to take into consideration now before adding product personalization to your eCommerce.