No More Ready, Set; Just Go For Holiday Shopping

According to DigitalCommerce360, reported by Internet Retailer, retailers try to get an earlier jump on the holiday shopping season, says Matt Lindner | Oct 17, 2017, and 51.6% of all merchants, surveyed by BigCommerce, expect Facebook to be their most effective digital marketing channel this year.

faceMore than a third of all retailers began planning for the 2017 holiday shopping season at least one month earlier than they did in 2016, says the report, and online shoppers say price matters most during peak buying season. New holiday surveys say that Holiday shopping isn’t waiting for Black Friday, but online sales will still surge that day, reports James Risley | Oct 16, 2017

And, a new report from BigCommerce Pty. Ltd. finds that 31.05% of retailers surveyed started planning for the 2017 holiday shopping season one to two months earlier compared with the 2016 season, and 4.44% started their holiday planning three to four months earlier, while 53.79% started at the same time as they did last year. BigCommerce surveyed 1,018 of its merchant clients vie email from Aug. 28-Sept.13. A BigCommerce spokeswoman says the company’s merchants define the holiday shopping season as Thanksgiving (Nov. 23 this year) through Christmas.

Additional research & analysis in 2017, from respected best digital marketers in e-commerce, finds that retailers are starting their holiday planning earlier because they expect at least some kind of sales increase. Nearly 89% of the retailers surveyed said they anticipate a year-over-year sales bump compared with the 2016 holiday season, with 50.28% reporting that they expect a spike of 1% to 25%.

When it comes to driving sales via digital marketing, retailers surveyed said they expect a greater impact from Facebook ads than they do on their email marketing campaigns, but it was by a slim margin, says the report. The BigCommerce report finds that 51.61% of retailers surveyed think that Facebook will be the most effective digital marketing channel this holiday season, compared with 51.20% who say email will be the most effective, from respondents who were asked to pick their top three channels:

  • Followed by Instagram at 29.32%,
  • SEO at 24.90%, and
  • Google Shopping at 25.30%

According to the report, regardless of the marketing channel, retailers need to get to the point, fast. The report says that “This is not the time for retailers to wordsmith their way into a customer’s heart… shoppers are plagued with options as they browse during the holiday season… merchants should let consumers’ eyes and emotions do the work… engaging them through visual means.”

TrustPilot surveyed 13,000 shoppers on its website from August to September of this year, and respondents could select multiple responses. Pricing is the most important factor for shoppers, as 62% named it as the top concern when it comes to determining which online retailers to patronize during the holidays. Customer service (47.5%) and shipping and delivery (40.9%) ranked second and third, according to the vendor’s data.

BigCommerce suggests, in its report, that retailers try to stand out by offering “unexpected promotions” such as free gift wrapping showcasing their brand to the recipient; store credit for a future purchase; an exclusive, gated sale for holiday shoppers; or a Facebook trunk show. The uniqueness of the offering can add brand differentiation, and may be the incentive a customer needs to complete the checkout process.”

For additional information from DigitalCommerce360, please visit here.


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