An E-Commerce Christmas 2021 - How to prepare and what to expect

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited about Christmas this year! 2020 brought a lot of change to the holiday season, with everyone social distancing or self-isolating indoors, unable to see their friends and families. This meant that more than ever before, people were shopping online and ordering gifts, seeing e-commerce gain two years’ worth of growth in just one year!

Amazon was, of course, the biggest winner of this, with a growth of 60% compared to 2019. It stated that Cyber Monday was the largest holiday shopping season in the company’s history.

The number of sellers on Amazon has increased by 100,000 in the last year to a total of 2 million in the US alone, which means the competition is getting fiercer by the day. 85% of all Amazon sellers are profitable so don’t get discouraged by this incredible figure! In this blog, we are going to share our insights into this year’s holiday season and tips on how you can make it the most profitable time of the year.

74% of under 34s say they are ready to embrace pre-pandemic shopping and travel, even though over half of UK residents fear there will be another outbreak of Covid19. 

Even with this fear, people are pushing for a ‘normal’ Christmas, saying that the pandemic has made them appreciate time at home with family (86%) – after all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about! 

So far, 2021 has been filled with supply chain issues for online businesses, with over half of marketers in the UK saying this was their most challenging issue. Over the holiday period, they are counting on pulling consumer demand earlier and throughout the season. With 44% of people saying they will be shopping online and 39% saying it will be a 50/50 split on and offline, so delivery services need to be ready!

This is perfect for consumers, as research shows that people are shopping earlier than ever – 27% of consumers started their holiday shopping before the August Bank Holiday! 21% started in October, with 13% starting in November. This still leaves a surprisingly high percentage of 24% waiting until the last minute to buy their presents!

68% of UK consumers are interested in early discounts and deals this year, with 37% utilising Amazon Prime Day and 40% planning on shopping this Black Friday  – the majority of which will be shopping online.

A lot of businesses have struggled over the last couple of years due to closing down stores, converting to online business and creating new strategies to keep their brands alive. 45% of businesses say that 2 out of 3 or more of their sales are in the holiday season, which means this could be the make or break time for many companies. 

To try and increase customer loyalty and engagement this holiday season, 71% of businesses are planning on introducing a subscription service or subscribe and save initiative. Another great way to capture new customers is through new digital technologies, with 30% of shoppers wanting to try augmented and virtual reality practices this year.

How to increase holiday sales
— in a glance

  1. Create discounts earlier in the season
  2. Use virtual bundles to create perfect gift sets 
  3. Increase stock levels
  4. Utilise holiday season content and keywords
  5. Don’t forget about the last-minute buyers

1. Create discounts earlier in the season

Amazon Prime Day has been and gone, however, many shoppers will be looking to utilise Black Friday and Cyber Monday to get great deals on their Christmas gifts. Even if you have missed the opportunity to advertise your discounts at these major sales events, people will be looking for great deals on the run-up and aftermath of the sales days too. 

The number of companies creating a Black Friday promotion has decreased this year to 68%, with 31% of the people who aren’t, stating their reasoning as the lack of consumer interest. Many shoppers are distancing themselves from the holiday, calling it outdated, showing there is a push for promotions around the event that can be much cheaper for business.

2. Use virtual bundles to create perfect gift sets

When using Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), sellers are able to piece together multiple listings to create virtual bundles. These are a great way to offer shoppers perfect Christmas gift ideas at a better price! Draw in audiences and simplify the consumer journey to help increase profitability. 

Showcase these bundles and other gift sets on your Amazon store and direct shoppers there via Sponsored Brands Advertising. This will focus a shopper on your brand and highlight the giftability of your products to increase sales.

3. Increase stock levels

If there is a worse time to run out of stock than during the Christmas peak, I don’t know if I want to hear about it! With promotions and deals running high, and shopper intent even higher, you need to ensure you meet the demand. 

Not only does having plenty of stock mean that you can keep selling, without it your Amazon listing can lose the buy box and therefore consumer trust; leaving them to buy from a third party or from a competitor. Ensure you send stock in regularly and on this occasion it’s better to overestimate.

Amazon Buy Box

4. Utilise holiday season content and keywords

Conscious Chocolate - Christmas Amazon A+

People love to get into the holiday spirit with Christmas imagery and brand stories that transport them to the north pole! Showcase festive visuals on your listings and Amazon store that highlight the best parts of the holidays – snow, delicious food, gifts under the tree and happy faces! Whatever works best for your product, highlight its giftibility and why they should buy it. 

Ensure you update your copy to include seasonal keywords such as “perfect gift for men” or “Gift set for mum”. These will help you rank organically for people scrolling looking for ideas. Add these keywords to your advertisements too and increase your bids to make sure yours gets seen!

5. Don’t forget about the last-minute buyers

As we mentioned earlier, 24% of UK buyers are planning on waiting until the last minute to purchase their Christmas presents this year. This is an incredibly high number and one that personally gives me anxiety…

But this means that there is a huge market that will be looking for a great deal, with a quick delivery option. Tick these boxes and you will finish the year on a high!

The holiday season is often a stressful one but we are here to help! With our team of accredited Amazon experts, we can amplify your sales this Christmas and beyond. Get in contact today to find out more.

this didn’t answer your question? why not try one of these related blog posts to find out more!

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