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Is your online store ready for the exponential increase in shoppers? More than 70% of shoppers surveyed have said that they plan on spending the same amount they did on holiday shopping back in 2019, only this time they will spend it online.

A survey of 8,673 adults from different corners of the world conducted by Rukuten Advertising revealed that 87% would shop for Christmas, whilst 57% said that they plan on making purchases during planned shopping peaks like Black Friday. This is despite 40% of people citing a notable decrease in their household income, owing to either losing full-time employment or because they have had their working hours cut. 

Back in the UK, around 42% of shoppers have said that they will spend the same amount as they did last year, with 27% proclaiming to increase their spending, especially on gifts for immediate family members. The online shopping boom is expected to kick off on Prime Day, which is generally around November, and that momentum will continue until Black Friday and Christmas.

The fact that shoppers have no intention of curbing their shopping habits is good news for brands and online stores, which now have an opportunity to bolster sales with targeted advertising. Now is the most crucial time for all online store owners to make sure they have sufficient budget for online advertising, to accommodate all the traffic that’s expected to come their way.

E-Commerce is Poised to Grow Exponentially

Health remains a primary concern with 32% of shoppers in the UK, who admitted they would not shop the high street because of proximity to other shoppers. It’s this mindset that’s driving consumers to find gifts and essentials online. A further 73% of consumers are estimated to stick with buying gifts and other non-essentials online as the holiday season starts to peak, and 54% of shoppers have said they will make such purchases via their mobile phones. With this in mind, ecommerce sites will need to be ready and optimised if they want to capitalise on this trend. 

Buying on smartphones is easier, faster, and helps e-commerce stores push discounts and specials via their apps. Since investing time in auditing and optimising for mobile, many brands have found their conversion rates have been on a continuous upward trajectory, highlighting just how important mobile advertising is in 2020. 

Some Other Holiday Season Trends to Watch Out for in 2020

A study of over 6200 brands and various retail sites conducted by Bazaarvoice found several exciting trends that businesses will want to capitalise on this year. Many e-commerce stores both online and offline, may associate Cyber Monday and Black Friday as being peak sales days as the holidays draw closer. In reality, the entire month of November sees a spike in page views and order volume. So far, when compared with 2019 page views were up by 31%, and orders were up by 65.9% as compared to what is the norm.

86% or so of shoppers say that they purchase gifts during the holiday sales mainly to take advantage of steep discounts. However, the impact of COVID-19 is expected to exacerbate the trend further, as customers will now be more cautious and selective with their spending. 

Prime Day marked the start of the world’s holiday shopping. In 2019, a fifth of holiday shoppers said that they would start their shopping around Amazon Prime Day. This year is a notable one, mainly because it’s now up to retailers and major brands to kick start their shopping boom with steep discounts and value.

Leveraging UGC for More Sales This Holiday Season

July is when most online stores have traditionally experienced the highest UGC interaction rates, with photos, customer services and answers as they try searching for gifts online. However, that momentum begins to subside, starting in September and will eventually slow down considerably. That said, as a retailer, it’s imperative to closely consider your UGC strategy for the holidays, as this content can help push prospects over the fence and compel customers to buy.

It’s important to remember that consumers also want answers to their questions. Whilst there is a spike in online shopping, there is also a higher number of questions asked in October, around 4.5% compared to the previous year. So, you can expect an even higher upward trend of users submitting content.

Your site’s content has a strong influence on shoppers’ decision to buy. However, that’s only the case if your brand or online store is visible, something we’ll discuss in the next section of the article.

How to Capitalise on this Strong Online Shopping Trend in 2020?

There are quite a few ways to capitalise on this year’s big online shopping trend, but it all hinges on getting more visibility. Even if you had the most innovative and groundbreaking product to sell, it’s no use if no-one knows you exist! 

One of the ways to gain valuable exposure is to run a social ads campaign. Using a Facebook ads campaign to promote your most compelling, discounted and potentially popular products, will help get you that exposure. However, you can further increase your ROI with a professionally run campaign that combines effective and eye-catching ads, along with innovative posts and other types of engagement like retargeting, to ensure your products are consistently in front of people who are actively searching for gifts online.

You’ll also want to run a Google ads campaign to complement your Facebook ads campaign. The beauty of Google ads is that you can target people who are actively searching for products like those you’re selling. In doing so, you can capitalise on a lot of impulse buys, which happen to make up a great deal of online holiday shopping.

As a business owner, you might not have the time or capacity to monitor and run these campaigns for visibility in the way you might want to. Handing this activity over to a professional agency will allow you focus on the areas of your business only you can do best. A professionally run campaign is shown to have a drastic improvement in engagement and consequently, sales.