For businesses wanting to make the most of the holiday retail season, planning needs to start early. And with the uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s economic effects, clear and market-aware planning is more important than ever. Here are some digital marketing statistics and insights about the final quarter of 2020 to help you form a solid, effective ecommerce marketing strategy.
Ecommerce Booming in COVID-19
Research shows that in the first 8 weeks alone of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, ecommerce grew more than 80% year-on-year. The reasons for this growth included brick-and-mortar stores being closed under COVID restrictions that also kept consumers home (restrictions that have currently returned in parts of Australia as virus cases saw a second surge), as well as consumer fears and concerns about exposure risks from being in public spaces like shopping centres and businesses.
Over recent years, consumers have become more comfortable and more secure with online buying, with ecommerce slowly but steadily growing in popularity and profitability and events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday seeing record-breaking sales up 31% in 2019 compared to previous years. Similarly, there has been a continued decline in visits to brick-and-mortar stores, down 56% to 44% since 2019. The COVID pandemic therefore dramatically accelerated a trend that was already on the rise, and new forecasts predict it to hold a 15% share of the total retail market by the end of 2020.
To take advantage of this trend, maximise ecommerce sales and avoid the potential complications of a re-emergence of restrictions on brick-and-mortar retail, stores need to invest in a dual approach that allows shoppers the best of both the ecommerce and in-store worlds. That takes an ecommerce marketing strategy that seamlessly brings your brand online, exposes your voice and offering to a market that is open to the online experience, and aligns with key events in the retail season calendar.
What are Australians Buying Online?
One of the ways to determine what you take online as your ecommerce venture is knowing what products people want to buy online and where there is an existing, powerful demand.
- Alcohol – Online alcohol purchases increased over 160% year-on-year during peak months in 2020, and let’s face it – for most people, beers, wine and spirits are holiday season essentials for gifts, parties and events, or simple summer relaxation.
- Gifts – This is the season where consumers spend much of their time looking for gifts for friends and family, and is traditionally a time where high-street shopping hits it’s busiest peaks. With people wanting to avoid the crowds and the potential for store closure if restrictions return, it’s expected to be a bumper year for ecommerce gift-buying.
- Fashion – Initially, fashion saw a significant dip in the early months of 2020, but has since rebounded as restrictions have lifted in many areas. Even in locations where people are staying home, fashion purchases have risen – although they have changed in nature, with office, trendy and formal clothing largely ignored in favour of activewear and leisurewear, which reached increases of 100% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2020.
Local and Social
An extensive report by Rakuten shows an interesting trend for local shopping when it comes to finding gifts, with 51% of global holiday shoppers plan to shop locally during the 2020 holiday season, with the same percentage of consumers saying they’d like the option to buy online or instore from the same brands. So, where do these consumers want to shop?
- Facebook – For 38% of the surveyed consumer market, Facebook is the most popular platform for buying gifts. It’s easy to see why – the platform has the highest number of active users, it has exceptional ecommerce functionality (which is great for businesses and the user experience) and it’s algorithm for sponsored advertising is very effective at finding the right, interested people to show your ads to.
- Instagram – As it’s part of the Facebook family, it’s no surprise that Instagram is another very popular option for ecommerce purchases and sourcing gifts. 31% of surveyed consumers preferred this platform, which has recently had its ecommerce features significantly upgraded, including the addition of secure payment systems. It’s a highly-visual platform with video and ad functionality, ideal for showcasing products, competitions and promotions over this competitive retail season.
Bring an Omnichannel Approach to Your End-of-Year Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we shop and what we buy, but that doesn’t mean consumers aren’t spending. According to the latest research, consumers are not only more comfortable buying online than they were pre-COVID, they’re also more comfortable trusting new brands they discover online. 87% of global shoppers are still planning to shop for the holiday season, with 57% expecting to make purchases on Black Friday and other major retail days.
The key here is to make sure that your brand is front-and-centre when they decide to buy – and that takes a strategic omnichannel ecommerce marketing strategy that ensures your brand is available to your consumers to make the purchasing process as streamlined and accessible as possible.
And our digital marketing agency can help you get there.
Our teams cover every digital marketing service you need, from web design and email marketing to PPC and social media marketing, and our aim is to give you an ecommerce marketing strategy that works – no fuss, no big price tags, and no so-called quick fixes – just good marketing done right.