As the holiday season draws nearer, consumers are doubling down on online holiday shopping at both major retailers and local shops. But as the pandemic drags on, consumers are getting tired of digital outreach from ads, emails, and other brand messages. To ensure strong sales this season, retailers need to cut through the noise and build real connections with shoppers. But how? Avionos surveyed 750 consumers in North America to determine how brands can stand out from the crowd and capture additional market share during this holiday season. The consensus? Invest in streamlined online and mobile experiences that make customers feel cared about without overwhelming them.
Shoppers are overwhelmed by digital communications from brands.
At the beginning of the pandemic, retailers looked to recreate in-person connections with digital outreach. But this approach may have backfired: 78% of respondents say that they’ve been overwhelmed by more frequent communications from brands since March 2020. And for marketers, this increase in outreach has likely led to a dip in engagement, as a majority of respondents said they engage with 30% or less of the brand communications they see. Retailers need to find new ways to connect with their customers that feel authentic, personal, and unintrusive.
Shoppers are shopping more – and shopping more online.
It’s no surprise that more people are doing their shopping from the safety of their homes. And the trend is here to stay: 46% of consumers don’t expect their shopping habits to go back to normal until summer 2021 or later, if ever. Retailers big and small stand to benefit from this trend, as over half of respondents said they’d shop more both at local and major retailers. What matters most is delivering effective, seamless eCommerce experiences, especially with holiday shopping looming. 54% said Black Friday will look different this year, consisting of fewer in-person crowds and more online checkouts. Retailers looking to capture high holiday sales must meet their buyers where they are: online.
Convenience is king, and it’s the key to building emotional connections.
Saving time and energy while shopping is a top concern for consumers this holiday season. Survey respondents stated convenience was the top reason for shopping with both major retailers (49%) and small local businesses (38%). With shoppers feeling overwhelmed with digital communications from brands, convenience cuts through the noise. Looking to make buying easier? Offering an simple purchasing process across web and mobile shows that brands understand their customers’ needs and creates emotional connections.
Shoppers want to support small businesses.
Social responsibility has majorly impacted buying behavior. With stay-at-home orders negatively impacting local businesses, almost half (47%) of shoppers feel guilty about shopping at major retailers. And 83% would spend more for products or services for local businesses like restaurants (46%), boutiques (39%), or environmentally or socially responsible businesses (36%).
Small businesses need streamlined shopping too.
If small businesses want to capitalize on this attention, they should make sure their online shopping experience is simplified, convenient, and streamlined. That means fast shipping (50%), easy online or mobile purchasing (40%), and reasonable returns (40%). These are the minimum expectations from customers and acting quickly can help small businesses to secure long-term customer loyalty. While the 2020 holiday season looks different from past years, one thing remains the same: customers want convenient experiences, no matter where they shop. Retailers that move to make the purchasing process simple and streamlined across mobile and web will build emotional connections that will drive revenue for years to come. Methodology Avionos surveyed 750 US consumers who had shopped with both a major retailer and a small, local business since March 2020. About Avionos