Holiday Shopping 2020: eCommerce Will Make Up for Lack of In-Person Shoppers

Holiday Shopping 2020: eCommerce Will Make Up for Lack of In-Person Shoppers


We’re now seeing the results of how the pandemic has forever changed the eCommerce shopping landscape with the holiday season.

With the largest Black Friday sales on record, online retailers experienced a remarkable 22% boost in e-commerce sales, generating over $9 billion. That was then followed closely by Cyber Monday sales being 15% higher, bringing in over $10.9 billion in sales – the most in history. This incredible uptick in online purchases comes as no surprise with many brick and mortar stores being forced to dramatically limit in-store operations to reduce foot traffic to meet local and state health requirements. Yet, even through the pandemic and the intermittent shipping interruptions many consumers experienced in Spring 2020, online sales have continued to outpace 2019 levels with more than 75% of consumers doing all of their shopping online.

This upward trend in online purchases is expected to continue well into 2021, with retailers offering a wide array of buy online, pick up in-store (BIOPIS) options. Now, consumers are able to shop when it is convenient for them and still enjoy the immediate satisfaction of getting their purchases in real-time – without putting their health at risk. As a result, many big-box retailers like Target and Wal-Mart have experienced triple-digit percent gains in the use of curbside pickup, when compared to previous years. And, with 86% of consumers wanting retailers to continue BIOPIS options well beyond the pandemic, retailers will be remiss not to listen.

Though the increase in online sales can give retailers a boost in their bottom line, one thing that the “buy online, pick up in-store” model doesn’t offer retailers is: the ability to upsell and increase the average cart size.

That is unless they can offer the same selection in-store as they do online. Since most retailers tend to carry more inventory online, one workaround could be to offer better incentives or discounts for shoppers that choose to have their items shipped. As retailers have to adapt to this new curbside preference, the key will be in finding ways to increase the cart value without inconveniencing the “want-it-now” shopper. Exclusive discounts, bundled offers, and free shipping options could be the most highly-effective ways to take capture a bigger piece of the booming e-commerce market and still boost cart purchases.


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