Prep Your Website Now for Holiday Shopping
The Sprocket Report
This is an update to "Wooing Web-Savvy Shoppers" dated 11/1/2011
Every year, the National Retail Federation conducts a survey on consumer trends for the upcoming holidays. Do you know what to expect? And are you ready to meet those expectations? This year’s survey reports that folks plan to spend about 4% more this year than they did last year, an average of $1,047.83 on gifts, decorations and holiday foods. Except for a dip in 2016, spending has gone up every year for the last decade.
The first time we shared this report in 2011, we reported that “Nearly half of those surveyed, 46.7%, will be buying online, even more than last year.” During this 2019 season, 56% plan to buy online and, more importantly, 73% of shoppers “plan to use their smartphone or tablet to research or make a purchase.” That doesn’t mean the end of brick-and-mortar shopping, but it does mean that brick-and-mortar shops really need to have a competitive online presence. Also keep in mind that while people do go to a physical store to pick up their purchases, 48% prefer to shop around and make their “buy” decision online first.
The most-wanted items on shoppers’ Wish Lists are gift cards, something nearly every business and non-profit can offer. In addition to products, services can also be sold online 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.
Obviously it is important to be in the online space where shoppers can find you. That’s where good SEO and traffic-driving social media are important. If you have been keeping up with both throughout the year, you have a foundation on which to build a special holiday push. Consider writing some holiday gift-centered blogs and social media posts. Use search-worthy terms to attract traffic, maybe even the names of your competitors. People love to compare and shop around for the best value!
Some consumers started shopping already in September, but the bulk of shopping is done in November, particularly the weekend after Thanksgiving. If you are only getting around to crafting your online holiday strategy now, don’t panic! Another 20% or so of shopping will continue through December, so there is still time for you to get your piece of the pie.
If you need a little technical help to get your website prepped for holiday shopping, just give us a call. And maybe put a tickler in your calendar now to start your preparations a little earlier next year!