Published on December 1, 2021 at 5:16 p.m.
by Elise Luoma
The Holiday Shopping Season: Black Friday, Free Shipping and Early Shopping
The gift-giving season may not start until mid-December, but early shopping has commenced. Whether the Nintendo Switch, Apple AirPods Pro or the infamous Peloton bike, you can shower your friends, family and even yourself with the best deals to fulfill holiday hopes and dreams.
Curbside and in-store-pickup shopping options have increased exponentially over the past year. E-commerce sales increased by 47% in 2020 alone, paving the way for a currently booming shopping season. Additionally, e-commerce sales are expected to increase by over $200 million for this holiday season. Implementing COVID-19 precautions and a feeling of safety is an example of how stores are catering to their in-store and online consumer bases this holiday shopping season.
As a result of COVID-19-related shipping delays, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, big-box stores such as Target, Walmart and Best Buy have rolled out many of their deals early. Even more, the United States Postal Service, FedEx and UPS have all set early delivery deadlines.
Amazon’s high demand and top-selling product categories for the 2021 season are toys and games, electronics, and camera and photo products. These trends succeed Prime Day’s most sold products, which include Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips, Fire TV Stick 4K streaming device and the iRobot Roomba 692 robot vacuum.
Social media has contributed to holiday shopping trends in a snazzy yet smart way. Personalized product recommendations appear on Instagram and Facebook, leading eight out of 10 consumers to discover and purchase these products. Instagram Shopping allows retailers to create ads with product tags and boost shoppable posts. Making content shoppable, building social proof and creating user-generated content benefit small businesses, influencer partnerships and large retailers.
Creating a customer-centric approach, hybrid shopping experience and early planning are amongst holiday marketing and shopping tips for the 2021 season. These tactics build loyalty in an ever-changing online shopping world and contribute to an enhanced customer shopping experience.
According to a 2021 holiday season consumer report, free shipping and free returns are key motivations for 57% of shoppers. Anything that includes the word “free” encourages consumers to rapidly complete their purchases. Strong search engine optimization, consistent engagement and an all-around easy shopping experience help bridge the gap between retailers and consumers. Moreover, these promotions strengthen customer relationships, increase customer lifetime value and amplify customer loyalty.
The holiday shopping season may be underway but so is the surge of e-commerce sales. Current shopping trends may determine the future of both online and brick-and-mortar stores. Relationship building, customer loyalty and strong PR are the key ways retailers can cultivate the evolving shopping world.