The holiday season is always a hectic time, and in 2020, more than ever. We’re entering the most unusual holiday season any of us have experienced before with the most dramatic change in shopping timeline and extension of the holiday sales season. According to the National Retail Federation, there was a record 14% growth in holiday e-commerce sales. Total holiday sales are expected to reach $730 billion between November and December 2020.
During this hectic time, merchants can ensure a simple, customer-friendly experience using integrated tools to help them get through the surge in online shopping this season.
We at Amaryllis can help you do just that. Our industry-leading Payment Platform solves the unique business needs of complex payment models and the flexibility to support evolving commerce models. Amaryllis makes it easy to scale your business without huge investments in rebuilding your payments infrastructure while focusing on what’s more important – the customer.
2020 Holiday Trends
Gift Sales are Above Average
Due to COVID-19, holiday parties and large gatherings are not happening this year. That is why gifting is playing a larger role than normal. 42% of consumers started their holiday shopping sooner than normal this year. Early gifting started around mid-September, six weeks earlier than previous years. Many retailers report that gift packages are in high demand, along with a spike in gift cards, wine subscriptions, and cocktail sets.
Unique, Experience-Driven Commerce
Brands are creating innovative ways to connect with customers online and offline. By delivering a unique experience around your product, customers will remember your brand and return for more purchases. Launching an exclusive e-commerce store with limited time offerings will keep customers interested and engaged. Some brands are even offering in-person experiences with visual reality technology.
E-Commerce is King
Software provider Salesforce.com Inc. says holiday sales in the U.S. will rise 34% year-over-year for the 2020 season. Data from October shows that online sales were up 3.1% month-over-month seasonally. Due to the influx in online shopping, retail sales have declined to 0.9% this holiday season compared to 3.4% in 2019. The 2020 holiday season will truly test retailers flexibility and adaptability.
Online Security Remains Important
Based on a study by TransUnion, experts state that suspected fraudulent digital transactions are on the rise. This has caused customers to expect more security than ever before. Merchants and payment facilitators should invest in cybersecurity, payment platforms, and logistics to provide a comfortable and safe experience for customers. Take the time to make sure your platform accounts for the safety your customers need and save both time and headaches down the road.
Higher Customer Service Expectation
Keeping customers informed with easy access to customer support is very important – especially during the holiday season. Customers expect to have questions answered quickly and easily in the format they prefer, such as email, phone, text, social media messages, and chat boxes. Having multiple forms of customer communication should be your businesses main focus as online traffic increases.
How Can You Keep Up?
There’s an overarching solution to help you leverage all of these trends – moving to a one-stop, full-service solution can help ease the burden of trying to keep pace with the ever-churning world of commerce, both in-store and online.