Retail is a cyclical industry—meaning it experiences many of the same trends year after year. For anyone operating an eCommerce store, these trends are familiar, especially around the Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday season. But just because you’re familiar with the shopping habits of holiday customers doesn’t always mean you’re capitalizing on them. Until you learn to anticipate holiday trends and predict shopper behavior, you’re not fully realizing the potential of your ecommerce business during this prolific retail season.
Let’s take a look at a few of the biggest Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday shopping trends to impact ecommerce sales and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve this upcoming season.
The weather’s impact on physical stores
eCommerce businesses will always be in competition with brick and mortar retail stores when it comes to attracting holiday shoppers. Albeit the tied is changing and retail as we know it dying off, but, nothing beats a nice stroll through Macy’s on a cool November evening. And while both have their advantages and disadvantages over the other, ecommerce has one very distinct advantage. Where inclement weather and dangerous conditions might keep people from driving to the store, ecommerce shops are always open. Take a look at Florida and Texas along over the past few months. They have both taken a beating.
Pay close attention to the real-world locales of your shoppers and cater to impending weather anomalies in their area. For example, if the Northeastern United States is being pummeled by a big snowstorm, make sure your online business is capturing customers who may not be venturing out to the store. Use splash landing pages, position popular products front and center, run sales or specials, and do whatever else it takes for customers to justify shopping online instead of in-store. The use of Geo-based analytics and personalization will help you offer the right campaign to the right customer at the right time.
Mobile shopping habits rule the season
The holiday season is a busy time for everyone, for a number of reasons. It’s no surprise then, that an estimated 48% of holiday ecommerce traffic research comes from mobile, and that is growing year by year. People are shopping for presents whenever they have time, no matter where they are!
Use this to your advantage and make sure to ramp up your mobile touchpoints this holiday season. Explore using email more often, for example, to capture customers at the point of opens on their phone. Or, take the time to better optimize your merchandising to display on phone and tablet screens. Your focus on mobile could help drive a substantial portion of your traffic and conversions in November and December.
People shop for attractive deals
Not only is the holiday season busy for most, it also tends to be expensive. People are buying for themselves, their loved ones, friends, coworkers, charity and more—and it all adds up fast. For this reason, special offers and deals tend to become huge selling points for holiday shoppers. Cluing your online business into this fact could make your store the destination for many holiday shoppers. Just remember, however, it’s critical to justify your sales to your customers and your bottom line.
Some of the best sales to run during the season of giving—according to an eMarketer report from 2016—are also the simplest. Offer your customers free shipping and returns to gain their trust above all else. Or, reward a purchase with a 10-20% off coupon for their next purchase. The study also found that while indiscriminate discounting looks nice, it rarely serves to improve trackable sales. Stick to well-defined deals and watch as customers choose you for their holiday shopping.
Anticipate the holiday trends
Take a look at your own Cyber Monday, Black Friday and holiday retail data from 2016 or earlier and break down the numbers to see what information you can glean about the seasonal habits of your shoppers. Being able to capitalize on past success (or downfalls) against the overarching trends of the season will put your eCommerce business on the edge of success.
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Datacrushers is a revenue discovery platform and global leader in site-wide revenue recovery and acceleration. Disrupting the status-quo, Datacrushers is fundamentally changing the way online merchants use real shopper analytics to boost revenues and improve client lifetime value. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, Datacrushers is a technology and platform agnostic tool designed for rapid go to market deployment across any language and currency.
Datacrushers enables revenue growth by the use machine learning and artificial intelligence to mine real user, site and product data into actionable analytics to drive highly targeted and personalized multichannel campaigns both on and off site.