Christmas Gifts

The Ecommerce 2020 Holiday Seasons – Are you Prepared?

Christmas is around the corner. Are you Prepared for the Ecommerce 2020 Shopping Trends? 

This year’s holiday season for many ecommerce retailers will be different than years past. How do you make predictions and stand out in the crowd, and how will you leave this season thriving? 

We have taken a look at the numbers and know that the season ahead won’t look like 2019’s holiday numbers. It could be drastically different in a variety of ways. We do know that we are not only looking at one of the highest ecommerce shopping holidays to date, but we are also looking at a lot more ecommerce companies with skin in the game.  These two things alone will create more hurdles for ecommerce companies to clear this year. 

We want you to come out stronger, faster, and more prepared! Let’s break it all down. 

ECOMMERCE 2019 Numbers

Emarketer reported that in 2019, ecommerce sales grew by 13.2%, reaching $137.55 billion. Cyber Monday came in topping the heaviest online spending day in history in 2019. Cyber Monday increased by 19.7% from 2018. Black Friday sales grew 19.6%, making it the second-largest online spending day in history. 

These numbers show that ecommerce retail shopping is becoming more and more popular. 

Shortly after the holiday season last year, we were all hit with a global pandemic that forced many brick and mortar stores online. Consequently, many customers have adjusted their buying habits and have switched to only ecommerce shopping for groceries and retail shopping. In fact, as of June 1st, online spending had reached 71% more than in 2019. As the year waned on with no cure to COVID-19, the budgets of consumers became tighter around the world as most industries went virtual and started cutting budgets. Subsequently, the budget cuts affected many people’s income, and others were without work completely- especially in the United States. So how do we look at these numbers and predict this season’s holiday spending? Well, we can’t. Unfortunately, because we are in unprecedented times, there is no way to have a solid grasp on what’s to come for 2020. But there is hope in preparation. 

Ecommerce 2020 

Salesforce, a leader in CRM cloud software, has given a few research predictions that they feel will be a large factor for ecommerce companies in 2020. They are optimistic, as we are here at Clearinity, that if you prepare for the holiday season ahead, you can survive and even thrive in our new found environment. We would like to preface these predictions by noting that although Clearinity does not offer marketing services, we realize marketing is an important aspect to all ecommerce businesses.

 Predictions suggest that this year more businesses will ( and have) move their advertising to social media. In social media, advertising, messaging, and tonality will also be critical for ecommerce brands to balance the influx of customers and a competitive market effectively. For example, brands should be using messaging that conveys compassion, empathy, and discounts. Also, some are preparing for the holidays with slashed prices. However, other sources have pointed out that deals may not be everywhere but instead will be offering a “social activism discount.” Many ecommerce retailers expect to donate portions of funds to social and political activist movements. Retailers use donations to increase awareness around their brand and increase sales without losing their markup on products. 

According to Salesforce research conducted by Salesforce, in addition to uptake in social media advertising, 85% of consumers reported they appreciated operational messaging. Consumers also want to know how the brand they are buying from is handling shipping delays and safety. A large factor in 2020’s ecommerce holiday season will be how a company is navigating their shipping times and managing customer service. As COVID-19 outbreaks have disrupted supply chains worldwide and severely backed up production due to high demand. 

In addition to shipping times and customer deals, factors such as inventory levels, shipping updates in real-time, and return policies will also be a big selling point for consumers this year as they navigate the plethora of ecommerce sites available. They are seeking safety and trust from the brands they buy. 

How to get ahead and come out thriving

With recent data showing us that this year will provide more hurdles for ecommerce companies than before, such as longer delivery times and in-store pickup from major brick and mortar retailers, it is crucial to start preparing now. Here are our top five recommendations. 

Inventory Management

Through complete transparency into current inventory and your unfinished and finished goods, Inventory Management will be critical in making informed decisions this year. Having an inventory management software that is cloud-based can help you see across all departments at one time. These systems are costly but worth it to be able to make predictions on inventory levels and not leave your precious and limited cash wrapped up in inventory that may or may not sell.

Identifying your assets and debts in your inventory 

Identifying trends over the past few months in ecommerce, historical data from your company, and looking at where you can cut corners for the future will also help holiday planning this year. We suggest identifying your stock levels for strong sellers and counting inventory, so you aren’t surprised with an out of stock status with no way to obtain more. 

Creating financial workflows that give you options if plan a doesn’t work out 

We all have a plan a, sometimes we have a plan b in case plan a doesn’t come to fruition, but it isn’t wrong to start having a plan c. When all else is failing, you don’t want the added stress of using more resources to identify what you can do now. Creating multiple financial plans this year helps prevent you from being forced to liquidate extra inventory later on. It also allows you to prepare for the best-case scenarios. 

Find greater transparency in your website UX and CX during disruptions of supply chains.

While the world is fighting off infectious disease, many consumers become conscious of how supply and demand work. They are now looking to have more transparency around their shipping times as they have experienced first hand delayed shipping due to COVID outbreaks and over demand in shipping. Providing more transparency to your customers before they even get to checkout will ensure preparation for the wait time and the inevitable shipping costs. Including statements and messaging around your return policy before putting an item in their cart will build your customers’ trust. They will recognize that you are an experienced business owner amongst the many other ecommerce business options available.  

Allowing your minimal cash flow to be put towards operations 

We understand that it can be difficult to prioritize which department needs the cash flow in stressful times. This year we suggest buffing up your operations to handle the uptake in orders, returns, and supply chain delays so that your customers can be delivered a stress-free experience shopping with you. Loyalty and customer satisfaction will ultimately influence next year’s shopping habits. So pay attention to the spaces where you can build relationships with your customers. 

Riding out the wave, Clearinity offers multiple level solutions. 

We aren’t just a consulting company for ecommerce businesses. We also offer unique daily services that can help your business find a little bit of clarity in this time of uncertainty. 

The additional services we offer include but are not limited to:

Inventory management system software implementation for those looking to overhaul how they are currently managing their inventory. 

Daily operations packages to help manage your inventory systems.

Custom reporting for those looking to sort out their inventory in a more concise way. 

Again, we are here to help you through these challenging but exciting times. We want to see you succeed. Sometimes we even help customers get connected to those in the ecommerce ecosystem that they need most. Whatever the reason, we want to be a friend and an ally this holiday season. Reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you!