If you are in the midst of planning for the holiday shopping season, we’ve analyzed customer behaviors from the last two holiday shopping seasons to help guide the planning processes. The analysis looked at shopper behaviors across locales and throughout the entire shopping season, and can serve as a baseline for planning processes, so retailers and brands can offer an enhanced experience, understand which products consumers are more likely to purchase, and reduce excess spending, during the holiday shopping season.
So, how can retailers make sure they offer a personalized shopping experience to increase revenue from holiday shopping? Keep reading for 4 trends to guide your holiday planning processes to increase revenue and customer satisfaction.
1. Anticipate Consistent Traffic Earlier and Longer
Throughout the past two holiday shopping seasons, customers in the United Kingdom and Europe began to shop earlier in the season, rather than waiting until the last minute to make their purchases. As shown in the graphs below, steady traffic began in mid-November (November 10th) and extended into mid-January (January 15th).
Shoppers in the United States showed consistent shopping patterns when looking at the year over year comparison. There are no prominent differences in behavior, which can help retailers plan marketing and promotional strategies accordingly.
Overall, shoppers across locales indicated more consistent shopping throughout the entire shopping season rather than solely around Cyber week and Boxing Day.
The average order value in the United Kingdom and Europe decreased when looking year over year. However, the web traffic shows shoppers are shopping more frequently throughout the entire season so while the average order value has decreased, the amount of shopping sessions have increased.
Shoppers are open to a longer holiday season that extends past the traditional peak times and holidays. Retailers can consider creating marketing campaigns earlier in the season and extending past peak in order to drive more purchases.
2. Plan for Cyber 7 vs. Cyber 5
If you’re based in the United States, then you likely anticipate Cyber 5 as the busiest traffic days during the holiday season. Over the past two years, data shows shopping traffic actually increases the day before Thanksgiving, the first day of Cyber 5, and extends through the following Tuesday, the day after Cyber Monday.
This is important for retailers to consider as an opportunity to increase their conversion rate — with Cyber 5 actually evolving into Cyber 7, customers are anticipating promotions and limited quantities.
Within True Fit’s network of connected retailers, the day prior to Thanksgiving showed a 99.5% YOY growth at peak traffic time this year, compared to the same time in 2018. Thanksgiving Day itself also showed a 94% increase in YOY growth at peak traffic time this year compared to Thanksgiving Day in 2018. In order to prepare, retailers should consider extending their sales and plan for adequate inventory to support major traffic and orders for 2 more days within this period.
A helpful hint: Traffic to retail sites was generally highest between 9 PM and 10 PM during Cyber 7!
3. “One for a gift, one for me”
We looked at the most popular items purchased throughout the shopping season and found that Women's tops are consistently the most popular category across all locales analyzed. Given the popularity of this item, many shoppers may be taking advantage of the sales to shop for themselves instead of solely shopping for others.
This is an opportunity for retailers to increase average order value - plan promotions accordingly, and offer sales that encourage shoppers to purchase relevant items for themselves, in addition to gifts during this season.
Offering relevant, personalized shopping experiences will ensure your customers have a high-quality shopping experience and are able to find the best items for others, and even themselves, during the holiday shopping season.
4. Shop for Others
While shopper behaviors indicate many are shopping for themselves during the holiday season, shopping for others is still the number one priority for many during the holiday season. Often, it can be challenging to shop for someone else online, especially if you are unsure of how they like their clothing to fit.
Shoppers who use True Fit when shopping online can find a feature called “Shop for Others” next to their own fit recommendations, right on the retailer website.
Shopping online for others is made simple and convenient through this feature, as shoppers are more likely to find the size that will fit the person they are shopping for and decrease the likelihood of needing to return the item in the future.
By increasing shopper confidence and enhancing the online shopping experience, retailers can anticipate increased revenue and revisit rates as shoppers are more likely to find the items they will love and keep on the first try.
Download the full report today to learn more about the key trends and insights to incorporate in your planning processes.