woman holiday shopper red beanie sitting on bench in front of shop with wrapped gifts. Welcome news for eCommerce brands: the 2020 Holiday Retail Season has started. And by all accounts, it should be a great one. 

This is great news for brands buffeted by what has been a tough and unpredictable year. If you haven’t noticed that your inbox has been hit by a blizzard of Black Friday sales offers for the last month, then you just haven’t been looking. (Guilty confession as a marketer: I have been deleting and unsubscribing like a madman for a month).

So, what can you expect from holiday retail in 2020? 

  1. A Long Holiday Season – We know that retailers started earlier than ever before this year, and the definition of Black Friday continues to shift from a single day to an extended period.

  2. A Huge eCommerce Influence – eCommerce is sure to represent a significantly bigger portion of total sales than ever before. Consistent YOY data was already pointing to this, and the Pandemic only accelerated the trend.

  3. A Shorter Shipping Season The shipping season will be shorter than the selling season this year. You may be focused on sales, but consumers are looking at shipping just as (if not more) closely. The perfect gift can be found, but it becomes less than perfect if you can’t get it there on time. Shipping resources are already under pressure these days, and you can expect more consumers than ever before will be making online purchases this holiday season, adding pressure to an already-over-burdened industry. The prime carriers (UPS, FedEx & USPS) have increased hiring and purchased more carriage, but that only goes so far.

    Make sure you know the major carrier Holiday Shipping Deadlines, and keep the following in mind as you navigate enhanced hectic shipping throughout the holiday season:
    ***Make more options available to your customers (Buy Online Pick Up In Store (BOPIS), free or upgraded shipping offers, curbside pick up, local delivery, etc.)
    ***Keep a close watch on deadlines to ship by and plan your marketing efforts around the dates
    ***Advise your customers of the deadlines (and advertise them in plain, bold messaging on all your sales channels)

  4. Deloitte has some interesting actual sales volume predictions that are worth checking out. What did we find the most fascinating?
    ***eCommerce sales will grow by 25% to 35%, year-over-year, during the 2020-2021 holiday season, compared to sales increasing by 14.7% in 2019
    ***eCommerce holiday sales are expected to generate between $182 billion and $196 billion this season

  5. These predictions are consistent with the increase in eCommerce sales year to date, and up to 70% of consumers in the US expect to shop online from now through the end of the year.

To sum it up, the best news we’ve found for the world of retail in 2020 is that most eCommerce brands will do well this holiday season. Yes, it may be challenging to manage increased demand and finite shipping resources for the brands who’ve traditionally relied more on in-person and brick and mortar sales. But more than ever before, timing promotions and having a finely tuned fulfillment operation will be important to your success. Don’t let the Grinch steal your Christmas this year.

Are you ready for the holiday surge? Want to learn more about how Freestyle can help you make the most of the holiday season? Request a Demo today to find out! 

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