It was no surprise how gigantic e-commerce sales were during the 2020 holiday season, and 2021’s holiday e-commerce sales will be riding high, too. In fact, over 56% of Christmas shoppers plan to buy their holiday gifts online this year.
Although global lockdown restrictions might not be quite as tight this year, ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic still mean fewer of us are choosing to shop within the four walls of a traditional store. Browsing online and opting for home delivery is a far more enticing and, most importantly, safer option for holiday shoppers.
So, given the tremendous amount of online sales, what can retail industry players expect from 2021’s holiday e-commerce? What are the 2021 e-commerce trends that businesses need to know about as another unprecedented year comes to an end?
E-commerce in 2021 and beyond is full of opportunity; here’s an overview of holiday e-commerce and how you can use industry trends to your advantage.
#1 Online Shoppers Are Big Researchers
Online shoppers are increasingly savvy. The average shopper’s decision-making process now involves various touchpoints, including researching product details, reading customer testimonials, and comparing prices.
Since finding the best products with the best deals is becoming easier for consumers, businesses need to do all they can to increase their chances of full conversion and avoid being cast aside during the process of elimination.
Enhancing your website to improve the customer experience is the key to convincing shoppers to choose your brand. Providing an easy-to-use and enjoyable online shopping experience that’s consistent for customers all around the world is a must. Also, consider localizing your content for worldwide users and optimizing the site’s technical aspects to maximize usability. No one likes a slow website in a language they can’t read.
#2 Online Shoppers Use Their Cell Phones
Online shoppers find it increasingly convenient to shop on their mobile phones. In fact, US shoppers spent a staggering $71.3 billion shopping on their cell phones during the 2020 holiday season. This figure has been increasing each year, up from $59.6 billion in 2019. The stats show that holiday shoppers will likely spend even more on their phones this year.
With online shoppers favoring a fool-proof and seamless mobile shopping experience, global businesses must continue to better their mobile app software. Localizing your mobile app for various countries, regions, and languages improves the chances that global shoppers will purchase from you.
Not sure where to start? You can outsource the entire developmental process of mobile app localization to us. TransPerfect works closely with you to find the most efficient approach to your specific technical needs.
#3 Online Shoppers Love Sustainability
The rise of conscious consumers means e-commerce businesses need to step up their game in sustainability. Consumers are more aware than ever when it comes to making eco-friendly choices. Don’t underestimate the consumer’s desire to make Christmas less of a materialistic spurge and more of a humbled eco-conscious celebration.
It’s safe to say that sustainable products are some of the biggest trending e-commerce products in 2021. Etsy revealed that searches for eco-friendly products are up by 28% so far this year. Pinterest said that searches for sustainable Christmas decorations were up 50% from October 2020 to October 2021.
So what can e-commerce businesses do to meet the growing demand for sustainability? Look into your shipping options, and try offering green shipping in order to minimize unnecessary plastic packaging. For any green business decision, promote it through content marketing so your customers learn about the changes you’re making. Demonstrate how important sustainability is to your brand by providing environmentally based content that’s genuinely valuable to your target audience, including blogs, newsletters or podcasts.
#4 Online Shoppers Are Shopping Earlier
In 2020, 70% of shoppers thought it wise to shop earlier in the year. This early preparation helped them avoid the disappointment of out-of-stock items and increased their chances of finding discounted holiday deals. And we’re seeing the same trend happening this year, too.
Preparing early for this holiday rush is vital for e-commerce retailers. Try launching holiday campaigns, plans, and promotions early to draw in the early shoppers and prepare your Christmas inventory as soon as possible.
Remember that online shoppers value brands that are trustworthy and transparent. With an increased demand for your online stock, shipping delays are more likely. Therefore, set expectations of shipping timelines and stock availability. It's better for a customer to expect a late arrival than to be disappointed by a promise you can’t keep.
#5 Online Shoppers Are Avid Social Media Users
The lines between e-commerce and social media are blurring. With more and more consumers turning to digital channels for their shopping, it’s becoming increasingly important for e-commerce businesses to wield the power of social media. Whether they’re discovering your brand through sponsored influencers or seeing your holiday ads on their newsfeed, online shoppers trust social media in their search for gifts.
To make the most of this holiday e-commerce trend, your social strategy should be unique and creative. Don’t be afraid to think boldly. For example, create an affiliate program that’s linked to sites and blogs your customers will read. Or work with social media influencers (YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are hotbeds for influential names) who sponsor your products and services in time for the holiday rush.
TransPerfect Can Help
Want to make the most of holiday e-commerce in 2021 and beyond? Does your digital e-commerce content need localizing, translating or optimizing? TransPerfect can help. Whether it’s language services, global brand management or content creation you need, we can help you cater to a global audience.
We have a global network of over 10,000 native-speaking linguists covering 170+ languages. Our tailor-made solutions help multinational brands quickly, efficiently, and successfully reach new markets.
If you’d like to discuss how TransPerfect can support your e-commerce holiday strategy, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.