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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 05, 2018

2018 holiday shopping season breaking records

Several online shopping records have been broken and we're only two weeks into the official holiday shopping season, and according to experts this in only the beginning. We asked Blue Fountain Media's VP what more merchants can expect from the 2018 holiday shopping season.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is driving this increase in spending?

Brian Byer, VP of Content & Commerce Practice Lead, Blue Fountain Media: Several factors are coming together this holiday shopping season to create a Perfect Storm scenario for online retailers. First, consumer confidence is at its highest level in nearly two decades. We can attribute that confidence to an increase in comfortability and a know-how to do holiday shopping online. With the new focus and developments on transparency and security online, it's no surprise that consumers are more willing to trust online retail outlets this holiday season.  Combine that with cultural phenomena like Cyber Monday and, even more so, the fact that most Black Friday deals are now available online, it makes sense for the consumer to shop from the comfort of their homes instead of braving the cold - and long lines. 

And finally, with a new study showing that the average American checks their phone 52 times a day - it's no surprise that in addition to social media and email, many are shopping right from their fingertips. The expediency and one-to-two day shipping attracts consumers to purchase - and more likely to impulse buy. Together, these forces will bolster 2018's online holiday spend.  

Kristina: Are there any sectors - apparel, electronics, toys - that are expected to reap more of this increase in spending?

Brian: With the ever-changing, growing technology industry, we can expect to see an increase in consumer electronics, tech accessories as well as the big-ticket items (like big screen TVs). With consumer tech creating an ease of convenience, like Amazon Alexa or the Apple Watch, or the can't-beat deal of the season being on the latest smart TV, keep your eye on the electronics sector. 

Kristina: How can merchants capitalize on the spending increase?

Brian: One of the best things you can do as a brand is get noticed. It's so easy to get lost in a sea of retailers during the holiday season. A great way to do this is by creating social media and website ads or by influencer marketing to reach your target audience. 
That being said, an absolute necessity is to make sure your site and/or app is fully functional and easy to navigate. The worst thing a brand can do is to get noticed, direct consumers to their site, and then lose them due to poor eCommerce web design or confusing copy. Make sure to fine-tune your digital presence as soon as possible. 

Tags: Blue Fountain Media, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, loyalty marketing, m:commerce trends, mobile marketing

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