The holiday shopping season is just around the corner. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it goes without saying that Black Friday will look a little different this year. Over the last few months, we have seen a major shift in consumer buying habits including a drastic increase in digital purchases and curbside pickup.
Online shopping during the holiday season has been on the rise over the past few years. In 2019, over 93 million buyers made a purchase online on Black Friday and another 83 million purchased on Cyber Monday. This year, data shows the number of online shoppers is expected to significantly increase due to the influx of new customers who usually shop at brick and mortar stores.
The End of Black Friday Crowds
In June 2020, a Google survey found that more than a third of US shoppers who normally shop in store for Black Friday, won’t this year. And half of US shoppers say the pandemic will affect how they’ll shop for the holidays this year. In addition to this, 47% of planned shoppers said they’ll use options to buy online and use curbside pickup.
Walmart, Target, and Best Buy have already announced they will be closed on Thanksgiving – ending a longtime tradition of door buster sales that attracted large crowds. This year, the rush for hot-ticket items instore may be at an end and replaced with online discounts that begin sooner and last for longer.
With even more consumers turning to online shopping in 2020, businesses need to ensure their digital presence is stronger than ever.
Stand Out in a Crowded Digital Space
With online stores facing significant competition this year, especially in the upcoming holiday season, it is crucial that businesses implement online customer experiences that will help them resonate with consumers.
Provide a seamless customer journey
Last year, the abandoned cart rates on Black Friday and Cyber Monday were around 70%, making it extremely important for businesses to provide a seamless process in order to maximize revenue. Even when a consumer has added an item to their cart, the journey is far from over. Strategic tactics must be implemented to obtain a conversion.
Find consumers where they are
In 2019, a study found that 40% of new Black Friday weekend buyers made their first purchase from a different browsing device than the one they first used. Many holiday shoppers bounce across different devices before they actually complete their purchase. This non-linear purchase pattern is common for many Black Friday Shoppers, making it crucial for businesses to use cross-device tracking. This tactic reminds consumers of their shopping cart across multiple different channels to help them pick up where they left off and complete with their purchase.
Optimize for mobile
Optimizing for mobile is essential for obtaining conversions and should be a high priority during any time of the year. In 2019, nearly 40% of Black Friday sales were placed through a smartphone. Now is the time to ensure your site is properly optimized for mobile devices.
Launch Google Shopping Listings
In April of 2020, Google announced that Google Shopping would now include free listings for retailers. Previously, the listings have only been available for paid advertisers. As a free channel with the potential for large visibility, Google Shopping Listings is a must for businesses to use this holiday season.