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Net Shopping and Net Gains: Online Buying Spikes for the Holiday Season

November 28th, 2011 | Uncategorized | No Comments »

If it Exists, People will Use it for Shopping

Not too long ago, people had to walk through crowded stores and malls if they wanted to get any holiday shopping done. Alright, so maybe this is still true. However, it’s far from the only way to buy what you want these days. According to Forrester, sales from online shopping for the holiday season will see a 15 percent increase from last year. Although this is only a particularly high prediction for the moment, it is already shaping into an underestimate. comScore is keeping its eyes on the November/December 2011 shopping period and has reported that the first 20 days have already seen a 14 percent increase in ecommerce spending for the holiday season. Furthermore, IBM has found that online sales for this past Black Friday increased by 24.3 percent. What does all of this mean, though? Is it that shoppers are becoming more inclined to shop online because it’s convenient and easy for comparing prices? Of course, but this is only a small glimpse of a much larger picture. We need to instead look at this trend as a set of guidelines for how to act throughout this season.

More Trust, More Business

An important thing to note from this trend is that ecommerce businesses need to realize that, if they want shoppers to target them for their purchases, they need more than great prices; they need trust. Throughout the holiday season, as people search the internet for the best deals, they are also looking for a site that provides the least amount of risk. In other words, since shoppers are skeptical of where they buy from, your business has to be reliable in a way that is easily conveyed to shoppers.

A number of factors can help your businesses gain the trust it deserves. If you look back at our #SmallBizChat post, you can see several ways to make your business’ website more trustworthy. These include showing management information, having a helpful ‘About Us’ page, using a confidence badge, and more. Businesses that take advantage of features such as these are far more likely to inspire trust and see more business knocking at their door (or at least purchasing from their website, in this case).

Create the Rush and Prepare for it

Another takeaway from the information above is that businesses need to know how to go about getting their names out there. After your business has established and conveyed a trustworthy image, there is still the issue of how many shoppers are aware of your presence. Without this, you’re reliability can’t save you from being invisible. Build your brand and then prepare for the inflow of customers.

However, there is another part of this task that bears mentioning: make sure your business is prepared to receive a large inflow of customer orders. If you cannot provide people with what they want, they won’t buy from you. If you only have a certain amount of a popular product, than you most likely already know exactly how many orders you will fill for it. Don’t go overboard, but it can’t hurt to stock up on items you know will sell.

To wrap things up, there is one other piece of advice that applies to both businesses and shoppers: stay safe. No one should get too caught up in the zeal to know how to deal with the holiday shopping season safely. Think about the advice above and avoid a virtual version of Black Friday’s craziness. Enjoy your Cyber Monday and the holidays to come!

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