17.11.2020

Why Ecommerce Will Be the Key to Success This Christmas

Written by Kadence Edmonds

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It’s well known that the holiday season - from November through to the end of December - is the busiest period for shopping and gifting. But as the time nears, important questions around the impact of COVID-19 on consumer behaviour are popping up. 

The market is changing 

There have been significant transformations in the retail channel space over the past five years. This is no truer than over the past 12 months, where dramatic changes in shopper channel preferences have become apparent – a trend no doubt driven by COVID-19 and its impact on almost every facet of our daily lives.

This shift in consumer behaviour has seen the rise of online shopping (ecommerce). Between April and June, 2020, consumers in the US spent $212 billion on ecommerce, representing a 32% increase on the previous quarter.

What people are buying online?

  • Gifts & Speciality - Up by 18.9%
  • Apparel & Accessories - Up by 14.3%
  • Toys & Games - Up by 7.0%
  • Home & Garden - Up by 8.4%
  • Food & Beverage - Up by 7.2%

These numbers reveal that consumers are spending more money online than ever before. Crucially, this level of spending is only set to increase as Christmas approaches.  

60% of consumers already preferred to buy their holiday gifts online, with smartphone usage for these types of purchases up 11% last year. This monumental shift in shopping behaviour means it's simply never been more important to have an online presence to not only capture but also propel holiday purchases. This can be achieved by having an ecommerce store. 

Bricks and Clicks: how to leverage ecommerce to grow your business

The power of having an ecommerce website that syncs with your physical store can scarcely be overstated. And with the advancements in technology and integrations, managing these two strands of a business is also becoming an ever more seamless process

Shopping itself has changed, and is becoming a whole new social interaction, fast-tracked by the impacts of COVID-19. Instead of having conversations in-store, brands communicate online and consumers share their opinions via social media and online reviews. 

Integrate your point of sale and ecommerce store

With the ability to integrate your point of sale software and ecommerce platform, retailers can now manage the entirety of their inventories side-by-side in one single system. This ensures that you won't sell out of a product online, because you sold it in your physical store.  

Take advantage of this, and create your own fully integrated online/offline proposition with BigCommerce.

Sell beyond geographical limitations

With a physical store, you're limited by your geographical location and the customers in this area. Ecommerce platforms on the other hand let you sell beyond these limitations, and give you the ability to sell to absolutely anyone, anywhere.  

This is a great value add for smaller retail businesses, as they can potentially reach consumers on a national or possibly even global scale.

Grow your customer case

Removing the geographical limitations of your store will mean you have the ability to gain new customers and grow. Much like your physical store, which is driven by branding and relationships, your online store will have the same principles. However, new traffic can come from search engines and social media, giving you the ability to expand.

Real estate

Location, Location, Location: we all know the importance of this truism when searching for your storefront. Typically, your physical store will always need a prominent high traffic location so you can be seen by your customers. Often, though, this can be costly. But your ecommerce store doesn’t need this prime real estate location.  So a bonus with your Ecommerce store is that the extra sales it generates can help cover your costs of rent and utilities for that top location.

Opening Hours

Your physical store is always limited to the hours it is actually staffed. This can be a costly exercise when you want to expand opening hours for times like the holiday season. But your ecommerce store can remain open 24/7 for customers to view and purchase items. 

Information Overload

There is only so much information you can have readily available to shoppers at your physical store - or only so much knowledge your staff can retain and provide. But with your ecommerce store, you can provide customers with all the information available on that item at the click of a button. Consumers like to make informed decisions, so adding in extra information for the product can help customers on their buying journey.

Are you interested in finding out more about integrating your BigCommerce store and POS? Get in touch with the team to find out more.