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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 02, 2016

Expert IDs trends leading up to 2016 holiday season

With under three weeks until the official start of the holiday shopping season, one expert identifies trends that could impact merchants through the remainder of 2016.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How might social impact the 2016 holiday season?

Jimmy Duvall, Chief Product Officer, BigCommerce: A recent study that BigCommerce commissioned from Kelton Research found that 23% of online shoppers are influenced by social media recommendations and reviews. If consumers are already turning to social media sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to conduct their product research, enabling the actual product transaction seems like a natural next step. And while there has been talk of social commerce for years, we're finally starting to see a proliferation of brands turning to social media to sell their latest products through buy buttons or to actively merchandise on social platforms as a way to get shoppers to visit their online store.

Kristina: We're continuing to see high numbers in the cart abandonment area. Will this impact the holiday spend?

Jimmy: Cart abandonment remains a glaring obstacle retailers are struggling to overcome with the digital storefront. Currently, Baymard's lists shopping cart abandonment rates as hovering around 69%, and that number only grows when you look specifically at mobile. One contributing factor is that a growing percentage of shoppers - particularly millennials - now intentionally abandon carts to see if retailers will subsequently email them an offer in an effort to save the sale. Moreover, mobile buying remains cumbersome due to the lack of mobile optimizations across retailers' sites and friction during checkout caused by lengthy forms for shipping and credit card information - which consumers still prefer to fill out on larger screens.

Kristina: How might social and cart abandonment trends impact the start of the 2016 holiday shopping season?

Jimmy: Assuming that existing customer habits tend to intensifying during the holiday shopping season, we can expect an increase in consumers using social media at various points in the purchase journey. Additionally, cart abandonment rates will likely continue to remain high as consumers in midst of holiday shopping are often looking for ways to secure the best deal. That said, new innovations like Apple Pay and PayPal One Touch offer a far superior mobile checkout experience which will help retailers convert a higher percentage of mobile sessions.

Tags: BigCommerce, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, m:commerce, mobile marketing

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