After a disrupted holiday season in 2020, brands may feel a little out of the loop when it comes to holiday shopping trends. There can be a lot to keep up with: consumers have gotten used to shopping from the comfort of their own homes, and we’ve seen an uptick in value-based shopping the past year or two. Fortunately, we’ve gathered the six biggest holiday shopping trends you should know in 2021, along with tips to leverage them in your favor.
1. Mobile Shopping
More consumers than ever are making purchases on their smartphones. The 2020 Christmas holiday season raked in a 47% increase in eCommerce sales, and mobile devices are expected to make up 72.9% of online purchases in 2021.
You can prepare for the increase in online shopping this winter by keeping your website up-to-date and user-friendly, but be sure to pay the same attention to your mobile site as well. If a customer is having trouble navigating or checking out via your mobile site, you don’t want to gamble that they’ll sit down with their laptop and try again later. Rather than risk losing customers during the busiest time of year, improve your mobile experience and prepare for an influx of mobile traffic ahead of time. (This includes checking your site’s display on tablet-sized screens, too!)
2. Early-Bird Shopping
In the past decade, storefronts have fought to be the first to open their doors to Black Friday shoppers, eventually launching sales on Thanksgiving Day itself. Consumers have become accustomed to deals preceding Black Friday and Cyber Monday: in 2020, 38% of shoppers planned to start holiday shopping in October.
This is partially due to the rise of online commerce: shoppers need to leave time for product shipping and any possible returns or exchanges. When planning your early-bird holiday promotions, consider including perks like free shipping or free returns to make your products more attractive as gift options. Perks, like these, are attractive to consumers who have grown to expect hassle-free online shopping: 26% of U.S. adults cited paying to ship their item back as their biggest pain point in the return process.
3. Social Commerce
Social media apps are creating a growing number of options for selling on their platforms. Social media commerce is especially popular among the younger crowd, 28% of whom have purchased via social media in the past.
During the rush of holiday shopping, convenient purchasing will be more important than ever. Meet your customers in their social apps by taking advantage of features like Facebook Shops, Instagram Shops and Instagram Checkout. Study your target demographic to find out where they spend the most time, set your shop up on those platforms, and amp up your social media marketing efforts.
4. Researching In-Store Via Mobile Device
Two-thirds of shoppers now use their smartphones in-store to discover information about a product. Of these shoppers, 69% check product reviews before purchasing, while 58% search for comparable products or services.
This holiday season, with so many shoppers buying gifts on top of their everyday errands, make sure your website and/or app are up to date with all relevant product information and promotions. As the line between online and in-store shopping blurs, your online presence will become a sales associate in its own right. Make sure this virtual “sales associate” is telling customers all the right things they need to know in order to make informed holiday purchase decisions – from product information to reviews.
5. Value-Based Shopping
Holiday shopping is a frantic time for many, and with so many options to choose from, close-to-home values might just be the tiebreaker between your product and a competitor’s. Conscious consumers are drawn to company values, so make sure your customers are aware of yours.
Sixty-five percent of consumers strive to purchase from sustainable brands. This green consumerism gives brands that already have eco-friendly products or manufacturing practices a marketing advantage, but there is always room for improvement. During the peak holiday shopping season, promote any sustainable processes your brand might have. Maybe your brand uses recyclable packaging, or is open to making the switch in time for the holidays. Whatever you do that sets you apart from competitors, make sure consumers know about it!
We’ve also seen a push toward supporting small businesses in the past year, with 57% of consumers willing to purchase from new stores or brands for the first time. Capitalize on any marketing surrounding your company size or location; if your brand is locally or family owned, publicize it.
6. Influencer Marketing Shopping
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the oldest forms of marketing there is, and influencer marketing is a modern day extension of this tried and true method. It’s effectiveness is clear, with 49% of consumers depending on influencer recommendations and 40% having made a purchase after seeing it on Instagram, YouTube or Twitter. With so much influence (pardon the pun), influencer marketing is a trend you’ll want to jump on this holiday season.
Influencers can recommend your product to their followers as a top gift for the holidays, and you could even run a gifting campaign where the creator gives the product to a loved one and shares that experience. This way, their audience doesn’t just have to take their word that it’s a good present — they’ll have seen it firsthand.
Not only is influencer shopping popular, but the benefits of influencer campaigns are multiplied for brands who also need assistance in the content creation department. Creating consistently stellar content takes time, and not every brand has the resources to make it happen. If you find yourself wanting for more content, influencers can help you avoid the process of brainstorming content, hiring a photographer, scheduling photoshoots and all of the other time-consuming elements that go into planning out social posts. Just get permission to share their content on you social channels ahead of time, and you can quickly fill up your social media posting schedule for the holidays and beyond.
We know influencer outreach and management can be taxing. That’s where Statusphere comes in: just give us your product and your vision, and we, along with our reliable network of approved content creators, will handle the rest. Chat with one of our influencer marketing experts to get a head start on your holiday campaigns today.