- On December 21, 2021
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- 2021trends, Business One, consumertrends, Distribution, ecommerce, ERP, SAP Business One, SAP Partner, Softengine, Supply Chain
2021 Holiday Shopping Trends
With the holidays right around the corner, festive shoppers are headed to stores front both in-person and online to prepare for this holiday season. But what shopping trends are appearing more frequently as years go by? Obviously, e-commerce sales have sky-rocketed with 61% of consumers purchasing online in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and 57% still purchasing online for the 2021 holiday (1). Technology and e-commerce have completely shifted how the majority of American consumers do their retail shopping. With more shoppers reverting back to in-store purchases, here are some shopping trends and factors that give insight into the hectic holiday retail season for 2021.
Crowded Malls and Stores:
With more and more Americans returning and feeling safer shopping in-person, stores will likely be more crowded and packed with last-minute shoppers. The infamous Black Friday sales also looked a tad different this year compared to the past. Many retailers decided to opt for an earlier and longer approach to the sales, such as Target, Macy’s, and Nordstrom, beginning their deals at the beginning of November and offering new deals every week throughout the month (2). Many stores also closed their doors on Thanksgiving to celebrate the holiday which is another factor that played into extending Black Friday sales. The consumers who did not shop for Black Friday deals will likely be hitting the stores for last-minute gifts rather than shopping online due to shipping delays.
Highest Holiday Retail Sales Ever Recorded:
The National Retail Federation (NRF) is predicting that holiday sales could reach a massive increase of 11.5% from 2020’s holiday. Spending is projected to be anywhere between $843.4 billion and $859 billion which will shatter all previous Christmas shopping records. Online sales are expected to make up between $218.3 billion and $226.2 billion of that total, rising up to 15% from 2020. This data clearly shows how consumers are back and ready to spend this holiday and it is likely to be the most successful holiday season for retailers in history (3).
E-commerce Sales becoming More Interactive:
Retailers and online stores are aware that online sales are growing exponentially without any sign of slowing down, so they are developing creative techniques to make the online shopping experience more immersive for shoppers. Methods such as how-to-style products videos, live fashion shows where buyers can purchase items in the comments, and personalized recommendations offered, online retailers are creating an entirely new shopping experience for buyers that are taking the e-commerce world by storm (4).
Purchasing from Social Media:
With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok becoming amazing marketplaces for e-commerce retailers, many shoppers are discovering products and buying them directly from social media platforms. Social media acting as discovery outlets to find a present for a loved one is one of the main drivers for these purchasing trends, with nearly 8 out of 10 consumers that were surveyed replying that they used at least one Facebook app or service for discovery during the 2020 holiday season (4). “Discovery Commerce” provides customers with that initial viewing of a product that they never knew they wanted or needed and can prompt them to purchase.
Online Shoppers want Free Shipping and Free, Easy Returns:
Unfortunately, one of the downsides consumers face with online shopping is high shipping costs. It is becoming increasingly common for customers to have a full cart and eventually abandon it after seeing how much shipping will cost and the late arrival date. This is why many will then turn to big eCommerce platforms such as Amazon to take advantage of Amazon Prime where they will receive free shipping and an almost guaranteed Prime delivery date. Additionally, when purchasing gifts online such as clothing, shoes, etc., the right fit is not always guaranteed, and products may need to be returned or exchanged. Making the return process as cheap and easy as possible is something consumers are beginning to expect if they will continue to purchase from that online retailer again (5)
Overall, these 2021 holiday shopping trends aligned to be a massive success for all involved with Americans returning to work amidst the pandemic and store re-opening for in-person shopping. Softengine understands how retail has specific needs and pain points, especially to remain organized and efficient during the peak holiday season. Fashion One is a fully integrated ERP Solution powered by SAP Business One designed specifically to tackle the unique needs of the retail industry. Read more about what Fashion One provides here: https://softengine.com/products/softengine/fashion-one/
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