2020 eCommerce Holiday Trends

In case you hadn’t noticed, 2020 hasn’t played out quite the same as the years that preceded it. The COVID-19 pandemic has utterly dismantled nearly every bustling economic projection set for 2020. That is, except for one.

Holiday shopping remains steady and not only that, projectionists say that this year’s holiday shopping season will all out eclipse the year before it. That’s all thanks to the industry that managed to come out on top through all of this economic turmoil, eCommerce. 2020 eCommerce holiday shopping is set to take center stage.

Stay-at-Home Holidays

With brick-and-mortar stores limited by lockdowns and occupancy restrictions, eCommerce sites have been wide open for business. And while as a whole, Americans are holding back and spending less, consumer behavior shifting to online shopping has kept eCommerce retail relatively stable throughout the twists and turns of 2020. Analysts attribute this to the fact that since people are forgoing other non-essential spending like travel, vacations, or dining-in experiences, people are getting their thrills through retail therapy instead.

Should the pandemic continue at its current pace into the winter, most people are going to continue to trade-in their travel plans this holiday for sending gifts in their absence instead. Sadly, not many are going over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s this year. Opt to send her a new massage chair and a Christmas card instead.

According to research done by Digital Commerce 360, U.S. consumers are poised to spend $198.73 billion with online retailers this holiday season, that would be a 43.3% year-over-year jump from $138.65 billion for the same November-December period in 2019. That’s a jump of a little over 60 million dollars. And especially in a year like we’ve had, that’s an impressive amount of growth.

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like an eCommerce Christmas

So, this is the year of the eCommerce Christmas. And according to Forbes, the eCommerce industries who will be walking away with the biggest slice of the pie this year will be:

  • Health and beauty with a boost of 23%
  • Consumer electronics rising 20%
  • Fashion up 19%
  • Home furnishings growing 16% by year’s end

And on the flip-side, as one would probably suspect, in-store retail performance is in the tank. Forrester is predicting an overall decrease in in-store purchasing declining around 6.6% this year. 2020 has come with a lot of ups and downs but we think we can all agree, this is decidedly a bad year to be a shopping mall Santa.

With people cooped up in their homes and unable to proceed with the usual holiday activities, it seems like the whole United States has decided to take the advice of Aziz Ansari and Retta from Parks and Rec and are treating themselves to some new holiday decor, home furnishings to make their quarantine space a bit more full of holiday cheer.

Make Your Optimizations List and Check It Twice

So, if you happen to be an omnichannel brand, you probably don’t need us to tell you this but expect to see a majority of your traffic coming through your website, not your front door. That means that you better plan accordingly by making sure your site and your stock levels are ready to handle an uptick in traffic. Now is very much not the time to have to slap an “out of stock” sticker on your product pages. We’d also suggest ensuring your site is optimized to have the very best chance of beating out the competition when it comes to organic online search. If there was ever a time to beef up your SEO strategy, now seems like an opportune moment.

Looking forward, while this eCommerce holiday season is still set to have a historic year, if this year has taught us anything, it’s to not try to make predictions too far into the future. Any number of changes and unexpected curveballs like more store closures or government stimulus interference could reverse or accelerate the current trajectory. One thing is pretty certain though, people have gotten very comfortable with the convenience that eCommerce shopping provides. While the current public health situation has it on the upswing, there’s no data to suggest that eCommerce and online shopping will be going out of style anytime soon.

Get In on the eCommerce Action

If you’re a brand looking to get in on the increase in online traffic but are in need of a little guidance in the SEO department or are looking to switch things up for 2021, we’d love to help you reach your digital marketing goals this holiday season and into the new year. Through SEO, social media, and inbound marketing tactics and strategies, Boxwood Digital can get your eCommerce site humming.

Get started with quick, free consultation.