The holiday season is almost upon us. Ecommerce stores are gearing up for another booming year of online shopping. In this post, we’ll review online holiday shopping trends and give our predictions for how to maximize your holiday marketing!
The holiday shopping season will start earlier than usual
Holiday online shopping will start long before Halloween this year, in what has been a strengthening trend in shopping behavior over the past decade. Thanks to inflationary pressure in 2022, 37% more shoppers in the U.S. will start their holiday season shopping earlier this year in hopes to avoid price hikes.
The Black Friday-Cyber Monday (BFCM) sales period continues to hold strong as part of a wider ecommerce trend. However what used to be an early bargain-seeking surge is now the final leg of the holiday buying frenzy. We expect this ecommerce trend to continue in 2022 as retail buyers will turn to discounting to remove excess stock after the inventory crisis of 2021.
Given these concerns, it makes sense that many consumers want to begin their online holiday shopping in advance of the busy season. Expect this year’s BFCM period to be one of intense online competition.
Smart online sellers can get ahead by protecting their customers’ orders. BuySafe offers an independent shopping guarantee so consumers know they’re protected if supply or logistics disruptions affect their order.
Consumer loyalty will be critical to long-term growth
It’s been a long time coming, but cookies are finally going away. No, not the sweet treats you leave out for Santa, but the digital thumbprint that third parties use to track online activity. Apple has already blocked third-party cookies, and Google will follow suit by the end of 2023. That’s a massive blow to ecommerce retailers, who rely on consumer insights to deploy remarketing ad campaigns.
"Ecommerce stores should begin the pivot to brand loyalty immediately."
Ecommerce stores should begin the pivot to brand loyalty immediately. This is especially important for smaller retailers that can’t adjust as quickly. It’s time to forget keeping tabs on abandoned carts or returning visitors, and concentrate on earning customers’ loyalty. It’s not enough to sign customers up with the promise of a coupon or deal. To generate real loyalty, ecommerce stores have to demonstrate their human side.
One of the most influential drivers of shopping behavior is diversity and inclusion. Around 40% of minority consumers say they’d switch to a merchant that was more committed to social justice. And among millennials and Gen Z, a brand’s social stance is just as important as its products — as long as they believe the commitment is real.
SMS marketing will really take off
If the idea of getting ads by text message makes you shudder, you’re not alone. But even though consumers say they’re resistant to SMS marketing, the numbers say otherwise. In the first half of 2022, Omnisend oversaw a 47% increase in SMS marketing messages versus the previous year.
Text messages aren’t just being delivered. They’re being read and they’re generating sales. The read rate is particularly high, between 90-98% (when was the last time you left a text unseen?). That’s lightyears ahead of email (20%) or PPC ads (2%). Plus SMS is driving increased value for brands, generating 18% more orders in the first half of 2022 vs the start of 2021.
The truth is, consumers like to get information by text. It’s fast, convenient, and goes hand-in-hand with the staggering rise of new mobile commerce trends. Getting on board with SMS marketing can put ecommerce vendors ahead and really make a difference during this critical season.
Discovery commerce will put savvy retailers ahead
Social media is driving sales like never before. A Facebook poll found 90% of holiday shoppers are likely to try a new brand this holiday season. Many confirmed they enjoyed discovering new products, even when they weren’t looking to buy.
Targeting new customers before they even intend to buy is the result of cutting edge data analytics offered by social media giants. It can bring your products to your customers before they even know they’re looking for them.
The rise in discovery commerce has gone hand-in-hand with changes in mobile commerce trends. M-commerce sales are expected to make up more than 10% of all retail sales by 2025.
It makes sense, when the average user spends almost 2.5 hours on social media each day, that social media would drive sales. The smartest retailers will unite discovery commerce with holiday marketing to maximize the impact of social media. Look for gift guides that inspire browsers to become buyers, and augmented reality to showcase how products would look in users’ homes.
Earning consumer trust will be everything
Everyone has a story to tell of empty shelves, delayed and canceled orders over the last couple of years. Or even taking chances on unknown online sellers, only to be burned with low-quality counterfeits. It's tough for ecommerce vendors and consumers alike.
One thing is clear about online holiday shopping trends in 2022. In order to increase online sales amid rising inflation ahead of the holiday shopping season, online sellers have to win consumer trust.
That’s why so many vendors trust BuySafe to protect their business reputation. BuySafe offers an independent guarantee for every order placed on our partners’ websites. Customers can purchase with confidence, knowing their order is secure and their information is protected. If something goes wrong, BuySafe has got them covered!