For some time now it has been observed that Christmas purchases are increasingly moving from offline to online channels.

In recent years, there has been a boom in online sales which has made e-commerce the real protagonists of online business, an indispensable channel for staying competitive and building customer loyalty. This trend further intensifies in certain periods of the year: one, above all, are Christmas holidays. Due to the growing accessibility and relevance of e-commerce, 70% of consumers start planning their purchases more than 2 weeks before Christmas and 22% more than 2 months in advance, the device chosen by over 80% of users is mobile. Market data confirm the increase in e-commerce sales on an annual basis of approximately 28%.

A question arises spontaneously: after a period of strong growth in online stores, what will the evolution of digital shopping be? Thus far, global data show that continuity in consumption habits and the trends relating to e-commerce during the Christmas period seem to align with those relating to the last year, in addition to suggesting some new trends. Let us find out what they are and how the new scenarios in the online sales landscape will affect the future of e-commerce.

70% of consumers start planning their purchases more than 2 weeks before

Data confirm the increase in e-commerce sales on an annual basis of approximately 28%

The main trends for e-commerce during Christmas

The transformation of consumption has undergone a very strong acceleration over the last year, mainly due to the development of the e-commerce channel. Online shopping has therefore become a necessity in the contemporary scenario: habits and methods of consumption have profoundly changed and are part of a structural transformation that proceeds at high speed, highlighting the ability of consumers to enter a different experiential world, where customer and user experiences are becoming increasingly central. This is a picture that is also confirmed for the next few years, in which a further increase in orders and a growing flow of purchases concluded through digital platforms are expected. But what are the main trends to be exploited to increase the traffic and the volume of purchases of an e-commerce during the Christmas period? Here are the main ones:

Omnichannel. The world of online shopping is now based on the so-called omnichannel approach, or the independent and interactive union of digital and physical channels. Research conducted in the first half of the year on 14,000 consumers from all over the world, reveals that users today first search for the products of their interest, then purchases take place partly through search engines and partly through physical stores, brand websites and apps and online ads. In the omnichannel approach, it is usually the physical store that announces the discounts to beat the online competition: during the holiday period, purchases via the web are intensified and these generally take place through three or more channels and also for 2021 a growth in e-commerce is expected, given the significant increase in online sales. Consumers plan holiday purchases well in advance, increasingly abandoning their habits to choose items they have never bought before.

Sustainability. Transparency and ethics seem to be at the top of consumers' wish lists, even at Christmas! These are the main values that brands must attach importance to through environmentally friendly business practices, at every stage of the production cycle, especially by offering sustainable packaging for shipments. Therefore, the attitude of buyers to increasingly evaluate brands and gifts based on environmental, social and political ideals is consolidated, especially among the younger generations.

Basic necessities. According to Forbes, in recent months there has been a trend among consumers to buy gifts online even in less traveled sectors, including: basic necessities, food, or products dedicated to hygiene and sanitation of the home or even accessories for the living.

Video announcements. Among the most significant Christmas trends for e-commerce, the influence of videos is confirmed, which will be increasingly highlighted in the gift season: in fact, half of consumers say that they buy the products displayed through video ads.

Fast Deliveries. Receiving orders as soon as possible and, better still, within 24 hours: this is the diktat imposed by the new trends which is also confirmed for Christmas 2021. PwC reports that about 88% of consumers are willing to spend more money to receive order faster. Therefore, if same-day delivery was already a practice adopted by 51% of e-commerce, it is now preparing to become a norm. Particularly in a period subject to severe delays such as holidays, it becomes of fundamental importance to stand out from the competition and ship the goods in advance to win or retain customers.

Local products and “therapeutic” presents. The main habits of consumers in view of the holidays emerge from the Sitecore “Holiday Shopping Trends 2021” report: as regards gifts. It can be seen that 71% of users are inclined to give away a product made locally. There is also a tendency to "look after yourself": 51% of respondents cite the therapeutic effect to motivate the purchase of gifts for themselves.

The new trends bring out greater awareness in purchases which translates into the search for performing online channels capable of offering an uncompromising shopping experience, but above all capable of ensuring a reliable and environmentally sustainable service. Peak demand periods, such as Christmas shopping, are key moments to support sales: 37% of e-commerce managers say they are unprepared to deal with the pressure on logistics and shipping services of this particular period of the year.

The festive season should represent an opportunity to offer added value to its customers and build a lasting relationship with consumers. MBE Centers can help you face peak demand with a wide range of solutions that will allow you to keep everything under control, from the management of your e-commerce and logistics orders, to the selection of the most suitable courier for your needs up to best solutions to let your customers locate you online.

Discover our solutions and prepare your Christmas e-commerce with MBE.

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