Although most stores and malls will attempt to remain open this holiday season, consumers will be wary of spending unnecessary time browsing for gifts in a public indoor setting. As such, online holiday traffic and transaction growth are set to climb.
Every year as the holidays approach, merchants ask themselves how they can optimize their sites to convert as many overwhelmed, busy, and distracted shoppers as possible. Along with the usual challenges of intense competition and increased instances of fraud, 2020 brings new hurdles.
Consumer sentiment has changed dramatically in the wake of the pandemic, with buyers prioritizing health, sustainability, and purpose-driven brands. At the same time, consumer behavior changed faster than ever before, with more people shopping online in new-to-digital segments like grocery and home improvement.
To connect with consumers this year, merchants need a new approach. Those that show empathy and compassion for consumers this holiday season stand to win loyal customers for years to come.
Preparing for the 2020 Holiday Season: 7 Gifts for Shoppers
To fulfill the holiday shopping wishes of today’s consumers, merchants should seek to understand their new behaviors and deliver the following seven gifts, set forth in our “Unwrapping the Gift of Giving” guide about optimizing your eCommerce site for the 2020 holiday season:
• Ethical eCommerce
• Safe shopping
• Philanthropy and giving back
• The re-creation of the “in-store” experience
• Mindful marketing
• Joyful digital journeys
• Great mobile eCommerce experiences
1. Giving the Gift of Ethical eCommerce: Akeneo
After a year of crises, consumers are more tuned into the ethical and sustainability impacts of their consumption. In a recent B2C study by Akeneo and Accenture, 70 percent of consumers cited “environment-friendly” as a key purchase criterion, and 38 percent said they would pay more for products aligned with their values. The bottom line: Paying attention to ethically minded consumers can have a significant impact on a merchant’s business this holiday season.
2. Giving the Gift of Philanthropy: dotdigital
According to KPMG’s Global Retail Trends 2020, brands that demonstrate a positive impact on people’s lives grow 2.5 times more than brands with a low perceived impact, and meaningful brands outperform the stock market by 134 percent. To connect with consumers this holiday season, eCommerce merchants are not just saying they care, they’re showing it. Gift-giving will occur not only between friends and family, but between brands, their customers, and the causes they care about.
Case in point: One great example is Remedy, a market leader in fermented beverages. When the Australian community was sent into lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Remedy co-founders Sarah and Emmett Condon donated tens of thousands of Remedy drinks to local hospitals, frontline workers, and vulnerable community members in need.
3. Giving the Gift of a Re-Created In-Store Shopping Experience: Nosto and Yotpo
Replicating the in-store experience in eCommerce is difficult — but not impossible. Technologies that help with personalization and user-generated content (UGC) management can help merchants create a seamless and rewarding online shopping journey that closely mirrors the in-store experience and lowers the barrier to purchase for every shopping transaction. A recent study found that 40 percent of consumers want personalized product recommendations online and by email, and 76 percent of consumers say customized reviews help them make a purchase online.
Case in point: To re-ceate the in-store experience, renowned Scottish butcher Donald Russell used Nosto’s technology to implement a series of personalized on-site experiences to ensure shoppers were informed, assisted, and reassured throughout their online buying journey during COVID-19. And in other example, Medelita — a retailer of modern medical wear — harnessed the power of user-generated content from Yotpo to engage its target audience at key touchpoints on the website, reassuring buyers about their purchases with authentic UGC.
4. Giving the Gift of Mindful Marketing: Hootsuite
Almost 4 billion people use social media today, accounting for roughly 51 percent of the global population. As such, people are hitting sensory overload when it comes to online marketing, particularly over busy periods like the holidays.
Consumers are becoming averse to shiny, overly curated content. It has become apparent from the rising popularity of short-form video content that thoughtfulness and authenticity reign in 2020. It’s more important for consumers to feel confident that the brands they’re interacting with stand for something that’s relevant, real, and of tangible value.
Case in point: The British Museum used social media to reinforce its brand as a museum “of the world, for the world” and increased engagement with its growing international audience in a meaningful way. The strategy set ways to increase online reach and engagement, deliver digital-first customer service, and make its museum accessible to everyone.
5. Giving the Gift of Joyful Digital Shopping Experiences: Decibel
A recent study found that 80 percent of CX professionals believe a journey-based strategy drives overall business success, customer satisfaction, customer retention, and customer lifetime value. However, customer journeys can no longer be viewed through a transactional and conversion-centric lens alone. Today’s customers are never on a predetermined course. They are unpredictable, and that’s why testing and optimization is a key goal for most eCommerce merchants.
6. Giving the Gift of Great Mobile eCommerce Experiences: Amazon Pay, Apps Flyer & Bolt
Mobile commerce reigns as the biggest eCommerce trend of our time. And it’s not slowing down. Mobile devices are at the center of many transactions — whether it’s for on-the-go shopping, product discovery, or price comparison. With expected growth rates of over 20 percent in 2020, mobile commerce will surpass 50 percent of total US eCommerce sales in less than two years.
Merchants should look to optimize the mobile experience ahead of the holidays to reduce cart abandonment, enhance checkout experiences, create seamless shopping experiences, and put measures in place to prove the value of their efforts.
Case in point: Craftsman watch manufacturer, Shinola, optimized the checkout experience by allowing shoppers to quickly pay using the credit card and shipping information already stored in their Amazon accounts. As a result, Shinola increased mobile conversions in just three months. Similarly, Dita replaced its checkout infrastructure with Bolt just weeks before its first-ever Black Friday sale and saw a 72 percent lift in checkout conversion.
In a third example, buy-and-sell marketplace Letgo was able to personalize user journeys and measure results accurately using AppsFlyer’s deep linking technology — proving the value of their mobile experience optimizations and generating a 35 percent conversion uplift.
Interested in learning more about how you can prepare your eCommerce site ahead of the upcoming holiday season?
Download the “Unwrapping the Gift of Giving” guide for more information about how Adobe and partners can help you fine-tune each stage of the customer journey and deliver thoughtful and intuitive experiences this holiday season.