With many retail giants promoting Black Friday-esque deals this week, retailers are busy thinking about how to make the most of what is sure to be an unprecedented, heavily digital, holiday shopping season. New data from PriceSpider shows a 113% increase in year-over-year e-commerce sales through the first three quarters of 2020. Additionally, the company found a nearly 58% increase in traffic and a staggering 122% increase in sales for just the third quarter alone across their platform, which processes and analyzes insights about consumer purchasing behavior for over 1,700 brands, including many of the world's top consumer packaged goods brands.
"In a normal year, any type of double-digit increase in sales or traffic would be exceptional, but to see numbers like these, that have sustained throughout the year, has been a testament to ecommerce's booming growth this year as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic," said Anthony Ferry, Co-founder and CEO of PriceSpider. "We're about to enter what is likely to be the busiest window ecommerce has ever seen; with both Amazon's Prime Day and Target Day this week, and people already starting to think about holiday shopping, we're going to continue to see these numbers climb higher and higher for the rest of the year. The ecommerce boom is not going away any time soon."
In categorical breakdowns, the Health & Beauty category has reigned supreme in terms of year-over-year traffic increases in ecommerce, with an unprecedented 173.5% year-over-year growth for Q3. Food & Beverage has been less steady and seen more ups and downs, but is still reporting a 19.2% increase in traffic for Q3, as people returned to more traditional in-person buying habits after the peak of the pandemic.
Traditionally, holiday season shopping kicks off after Halloween and then hits peak with the deals surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but major retailer sale events combined with already elevated e-commerce traffic means that brands need to be preparing their holiday strategies now. With that in mind, PriceSpider is sharing the best ways that brands can get ahead for a smooth season:
Prepare for a Peak Week: Traditionally, Black Friday shopping happens in-store, followed by an influx of online deals on the following Monday - Cyber Monday. Over the past few years, as ecommerce has grown, we've seen more and more online shopping around holiday, but in the face of the pandemic, expect your ecommerce channels to be booming from Thanksgiving Day through the week after.
Know That No One Is Exempt: Even if your product isn't one that is traditional in the gift giving category, you can likely expect sustained ecommerce growth through the holiday season. Experts are predicting a spike in COVID-19 infections in tandem with flu season this winter, which could mean more stay-at-home orders, which will undoubtedly keep ecommerce rising across the board, whether they're given as gifts or not.
Strap Up Your Supply Chain: Given the expectations around this potentially being the biggest holiday season on record for ecommerce, don't get caught without a rock solid supply chain in place, especially on the fulfillment end. DHL recently announced the hiring of 150 additional people in Chicago, a major logistics hub, to help with anticipated ecommerce holiday growth. Fulfillment operations are bulking up as they should be; is your plan in place?
Give Your Customers Options: If you haven't invested in pricing and stock tracking technology that offers your customers options of where to buy your products, it's imperative you do so now. Increased traffic means things will be flying off the shelves - both in-store and even more so digitally - and to keep up with demand, you need to give your customers easy-to-understand options.