Holiday Business Ideas to Keep an Eye on into 2021
Just last year we updated our 2011 article about online shopping. But 2020 is a whole new kind of animal and the lessons we’re learning now will help in the coming year.
Last year brick-and-mortar shops were worried that online buyers would make in-store shopping obsolete. This year, without online shopping even more stores would be closed than the disheartening number already shuttered. Take a look at these numbers we found when researching the earlier articles and compare them to today’s numbers:
- November 2011 – 46.7% of those surveyed plan to buy online
- November 2019 – 56% of those surveyed plan to buy online
- November 2020 – 69% of those surveyed plan to buy online
Many experts predict that retail and restaurant habits will not return to pre-COVID trends. While we all say we are eager to get away from our computer screens, the ease of online purchasing and home delivery will continue to make a major impact on our behavior. It only makes sense, then, for businesses to take good notes now on their online sales so they can adjust appropriately for the future.
It’s not the end of brick-and-mortar stores. People still want to support their local retailers even when they can’t actually shop in them and Salesforce reports a 90% increase in in-store pickup sales over last year. Out of necessity stores are making pick-up work now, but they’ll probably want to develop more long-term solutions.
Shoppers also continue to use their smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers for researching purchases and finding nearby shops and restaurants for immediate gratification. Business owners will want to build out their websites and invest more in online marketing to take advantage of that trend.
And it pays to start sooner than later. When a business keeps up with their website’s Search Engine Optimization and traffic-driving social media throughout the year, there’s a strong foundation on which to build a special holiday push. Add some seasonal gift-centered blogs and social media posts with search-worthy terms to attract traffic closer to the holidays and you’ll be well-placed for 2021 shoppers.
Another important trend is that gift cards are the most-wanted items on a shopper’s Wish List, which is something nearly every business and non-profit can – and should – offer. In addition to products, services can be sold online such as gift cards or gift certificates. An added advantage is that gift certificates can be purchased online from the giver’s phone or computer and then emailed to a recipient at their own phone or computer.
While the bulk of this season’s purchases have been completed by now, another 20% or so of shopping will continue through December and it’s likely that in-store browsing won’t return to normal for some months yet. Try to keep tabs on what’s working and what’s not with your online sales and fulfillment. This information will be invaluable as you set business goals for the coming year.
It’s been a very difficult year and we salute those businesses who are pivoting, reorganizing, and rebuilding as a result. You have a lot on your plate, but if you want to discuss website and social media marketing options that could be helpful for your business the next year, just give us a call.
This article is an update to “Prep Your Website Now for Holiday Shopping” dated 11/13/2019.