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Retail & E-Commerce 08.03.20 BLOG 

Even a Pandemic Can’t Cancel the Holiday Season for Retailers

By the TransPerfect Retail Team

Pandemic Shopping

Even a Pandemic Can’t Cancel the Holiday Season for Retailers

The holiday season is one of the busiest times for retailers around the globe. Planning starts as soon as one season ends to ensure the most is made of this unique time. 2019’s holiday season was the first one ever to pass the trillion-dollar mark in both ecommerce and brick-and-mortar retail sales. In the US, 89.29% of the population planned to buy gifts last year, with an average spend of $1,496 per family over the holiday period. Historically brick-and-mortar has outperformed ecommerce, with 2019’s trillion dollars split $869.40 billion brick-and-mortar to ecommerce’s $137.55 billion. Of course, 2020 has proven to be something no one could have predicted, and the retail industry has been hit harder than most. However, not even a pandemic can cancel the holiday season, so what should retailers be taking note of for the 2020 season?

Though ecommerce has taken a back foot to physical stores, there’s no doubt that during a pandemic, giving consumers the ability to shop online has become the most important thing a retailer can do, and this shift is inevitably something that will continue to become more and more important. Ensuring that your website, ecommerce store, mobile app, and all content is localized and optimized for your key targets around the world is incredibly important to make it easy for consumers to purchase their gifts no matter what their preferred language is. After all, 40% of consumers say a bad online shopping experience is enough to turn them off a brand for good.

Physical retail stores are here to stay, but the role they play is changing and developing. Though shoppers may rely on online shopping and home delivery in the months leading up to December and when making the most of Black Friday and Cyber Week deals, what happens after the shipping cutoff date? People are reliant on “buy online, pick up in store” services, and since this was one of the only ways some retailers could get their products into the hands of their customers during the pandemic, people have become used to this service and will expect it from more and more businesses.

As technology evolves, consumers are given more choice when it comes to where they want to shop. This goes much deeper than online or offline—more shopping than ever is happening on multiple platforms and devices, and you need to make sure the buying process you provide suits your customers. Tablet and mobile devices consistently outperform computers when we look at traffic share by device during the holiday period. When building out your website and ecommerce platform, think about how it will look on different devices and monitor your web traffic to make decisions on how you should optimize your content. Social media is becoming a bigger player in the world of retail, with Instagram’s checkout feature allowing users to purchase items without even leaving the app. And with 87% of shoppers believing that social media helps them make purchase decisions, it pays to make sure your ecommerce strategy takes advantage of the inbuilt services social platforms have to offer.

Overall, it’s clear to us that retailers should focus on their digital offerings, ensuring that content is easily accessible for consumers no matter where they live, what language they speak, what device they have, or what platform they prefer to use. TransPerfect can make sure that you have all bases covered, whether that’s launching a new website in multiple languages, creating original multilingual content, developing an international SEO strategy, or ensuring your promotional campaigns send the right message no matter what language they’re in. For more information, email to discuss how we can help you make the most of the 2020 holiday season.

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