Online businesses are set to explode this holiday season knocking on the door which may put the retailers’ online strategies to test. This year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, online businesses had to deal with the unexpected huge loss which resulted in the shutting down of many businesses but the ones who managed to survive then are presently looking at doubling their profits. While everyone waits for the International Retail Federation’s holiday forecast, Forrester is out with its forecast saying that presently the growth for the online businesses seem to be 18.3% but during the holiday season they may spike up to 22.5% where as the Big Four accounting firm Deloitte has claimed that all the online businesses are not expected to make a profit of more than 1 – 1.5% as compared to last time. Despite the differences in forecast, they are sure of one forecast which says that there will be an explosion of sales during the holiday season which would cover up for the year. There will be huge shifts in the business this holiday season and all the companies ready with their proper strategies may expect some good amount flowing in for their business this holiday season.
Factors Affecting Shifts in Online Shopping Behavior
1. Online growth expected off the charts
Retailers who manage their businesses both online and offline are going to face an immense boost in online sales as Forrester says that the demand for health and beauty care products may go up by 23%, consumer electronics are expected to grow by 20%, fashion going up by 19% and furniture moving up by 13% as the year ends. At the same time, the offline sales are expected to tank down by 8.2% for health and beauty, 15.2% for furniture, consumer electronics go down by 26.3%, and in-store fashion sales are expected to go down by 33.7%. When the charts were run, they gave out these results which turned to be the most unexpected ones.
2. Stay at home holidays
People this year had saved enough as they had no vacation trips, outings, or any extra entertainment expenses around the year which removes their very basic problem of dis – a balanced budget which they may be facing every year when it comes to holiday season shopping. People will look forward to some short trips or family get together at the end of the year to make up for the time lost this year which makes them buy outfits and some gifts for everyone. As people stayed at home for enough time, they are now aware of many minute things which may make a negative impression on anyone who visits their house. People will look forward to buy decorative to cover it up and as Christmas is approaching decorative for home are going to be treated as an essential.
3. High pressure on retail supply chain
Retailers who have their business running both online and offline have to face tremendous shifts in this holiday season. They may have to manage high sales on the store as well as on online platforms which means they have to stay on their toes to tackle the supply problem at every point. Retail shop owners need to deal with the out-of-stock problem and the potential shipment days problem because they are considered to be the most frustrating for the online buyer and in the holiday season, buyers are likely to get frustrated more easily.
4. Customers demand personalized engagement
In order to increase their profit levels, retailers compromise with the product quality and that’s where they go wrong. Redpoint’s Nash last year quoted that “Retailers are not meeting customers’ expectations for personalized omnichannel experiences,” after a survey which said that 70% of the customers are not satisfied with the product quality and are not receiving the same product they were promised. Retailers need to take care of the product quality and should provide the customers what is being promised to them.
5. Satisfied customers are loyal customers
A basic human being needs to be satisfied with his basic wants. Online sellers need to satisfy their customers and make them feel like the brand exists to help them and maintain a good bond with them. A seller who would manage to build a good understanding with the customers will eventually be rewarded in terms of profits. It should be like a relevant message and an offer for customers to stay loyal to get loyalty from the firm.
There are a lot of complexities involved when trying to match the customers. In order to avoid these, businesses should adopt online strategies which turn out to be beneficial for both the business and the customers. This part of the year opens up new opportunities for all online businesses and it depends on the business how well they use it to gain maximum advantage.
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