Holiday Shopping Will Look Much Different This Season
In recent years, more and more people have been shopping online. E-commerce websites have grown in popularity as more and more businesses continue to move online. Amazon is a prime example of how big online shopping can grow. As we approach the holiday season, people are going to be shopping more than usual. However, holiday shopping is going to look much different in 2020 than in recent years.
While online shopping continues to trend upwards, the global pandemic that has plagued all of 2020 might boost this upwards trend. Black Friday is a massive shopping day where millions of people go out and take advantage of huge sales. However, in recent years, fewer people have been leaving their homes to go Black Friday shopping. More holiday shoppers are doing most of their shopping online now.
Starting in 2005, Cyber Monday has been a busy and lucrative day for holiday shopping. While Cyber Monday does occur over Thanksgiving weekend like Black Friday, it isn’t done in store. It is entirely online. Since its inception, more people have shifted to online shopping, as opposed to visiting stores in person.
With the continued growth of Cyber Monday paired with the threat of COVID-19, more people are making the move to online shopping this holiday season. Throughout this year, Tech Critic has kept an eye on consumer trends to prepare our business and our client’s businesses for the future.
Brief History of Cyber Monday
Since we are talking about online shopping during the holiday season, we need to discuss the significance of Cyber Monday. The National Retail Federation (NRF) recognized that online sales and traffic on the Monday after Thanksgiving continually increased with each year. They believed that people were making purchases from work because their internet was faster, and they could hide gifts easier.
In a 2005 press release, the NRF officially declared the Monday after Thanksgiving as Cyber Monday. The release pointed out that 77% of online retailers experienced significant increases in their sales that Monday the previous year. Following the release, retailers saw a 26% increase in their sales.
Since its inception, online retailers have continued to experience increased sales on Cyber Monday.
- In 2018, Cyber Monday posted a 28% increase in digital commerce spending compared to the year prior.
- From 2005 to 2018, e-commerce spending increased from $484 million to $6 billion.
- In 2019, Cyber Monday online shopping beat Black Friday by nearly $2 billion.
- 50% of holiday shoppers stated they’ll shop on Cyber Monday.
Each year, Cyber Monday grows in popularity. Even outside of the holiday season, online shopping appears to be growing. However, the threat of COVID-19 looks to play a pivotal role in increasing these numbers this holiday season.
Holiday Shoppers’ Fears
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is still a very real threat. While businesses all across the country have reopened, many consumers still don’t feel comfortable leaving their homes. Many people only leave home to go to work, visit the doctor, and go grocery shopping, but even that has changed. Searches for “curbside pickup” have grown globally by over 3000% year over year, according to Google.
Consumers do not feel comfortable shopping in-store like they have in the past due to the threat of COVID-19. The holiday season is notorious for packed malls and stores, which means people won’t be social distancing. Naturally, people want to avoid large crowds to protect themselves and their loved ones. That means not shopping in stores and shopping online more.
Even though online shopping has been a staple for holiday shoppers in recent years, experts predict that we will see sizeable increases in e-commerce spending this holiday season.
Holiday Shopper Consumer Trends
Cyber Monday and online shopping during the holiday season have already been popular. However, with COVID-19 still looming and people trying to social distance, more and more people will be moving from in-store to online shopping.
Google recently shared new data that highlights some consumer behavior to keep an eye out for this holiday season. Google expects the 2020 holiday season to be different than years past.
Here are some useful facts that Google released in a 27-page guide for holiday shopping:
- 62% of U.S. shoppers plan on starting their holiday shopping early to avoid items being out of stock.
- 69% of U.S. shoppers plan on shopping online for the holidays more this year than they did in previous years.
- 77% of U.S. shoppers stated that they would rather browse for gift ideas online instead of in-store.
- 66% of U.S. consumers plan on shopping at local small businesses this holiday season.
- Searches for “available near me” have grown globally by over 100% year-over-year.
- Searches for “support local businesses” have grown by over 20,000% in the last year.
- Since COVID-19, nearly a third of U.S. shoppers have purchased from a new brand.
- 70% of shoppers said they would consider buying from new retailers.
- 46% of U.S. shoppers agreed that they make an effort to shop at businesses that share values with them.
Along with Google’s survey results, other groups have also done some analysis to make some predictions for holiday shopping in 2020. Big Four accounting firm Deloitte predicts that e-commerce holiday retail sales might grow by nearly 35% across November and January.
A survey conducted by Dynata for Redpoint Global revealed that 62% of holiday shoppers surveyed planned to shop exclusively online this year. These results match up closely with Google’s results.
Additionally, Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights surveyed 1,000 shoppers in early September to gauge how they plan on shopping this holiday season. In their results, nearly 77% of holiday shoppers intended to purchase more than half of their gifts online, while 89% of shoppers reported that they would buy at least 25% of their gifts online.
As you can see, it appears that more holiday shoppers will be shopping online this year than they have in years past. Additionally, it looks like consumers are trying to buy more from local businesses this holiday season. U.S. shoppers also appear to be more open to change, as more consumers are willing to purchase from brands that are new to them.
Due to the ongoing global pandemic, holiday shopping will look quite different this year. Shoppers are opting to shop online more this year than ever before to keep themselves safe. Online retailers can expect to see their revenue increase significantly this holiday season.