5 Key Trends and Recommendations for Holiday Peaks

Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are approaching quickly. We've pulled together five key holiday shopping trends and our customer experience recommendations to keep your shoppers engaged and happy during the busiest time of the year. 

01. The early bird gets the gift

Early shoppers are on the rise, with ⅓ of all users having already started Christmas shopping by September (eConsultancy). Gift guides and gift cross-selling can help guide users to the right products and should be launched as early as the beginning of November to capitalize on the prepared shopper.

Winning Experience: Inform users of gift guides after they’ve browsed product pages without adding anything to their bags. A gift-guide toggle can serve as a subtle reminder that gift-giving doesn’t have to be stressful.

02. The ‘Turkey Day’ binge

Thanksgiving ecommerce revenue numbers continue to grow 25%, outpacing Black Friday growth by 71% (Recode). People continue to feel pressured to get holiday shopping in earlier, even during a holiday, so deploying countdowns on site will effectively play on their sense of urgency.

Winning Experience: Keep customers in the know about important shipping details and policies. A homepage countdown creates urgency to purchase and can match with any festive design of your site.

03. Money talks

Gift spending is predicted to increase 12% y/y in 2016 (Fortune). As users continue to spend more during the holidays, core USPs are expected. Use returns badging and appropriate free shipping callouts to meet customer expectations.

Winning Experience: Explicitly highlight holiday return policies on product pages so that customers are well-informed before spending more.

04. Enough for you, let’s shop for me

Self-gifting continues to dominate with a reported 15% of an individual’s holiday budget being spent on themselves (Retail Dive). Leverage users shopping for themselves while on site to maximize AOV by providing upsell opportunities within your basket.

Winning Experience: On the bag page, point customers in the direction of additional products relevant to each user. The simple call-to-action helps customers quickly increase AOV without leaving the page.

05. One size fits all

Users spend a large portion of holiday budgets on gift cards, with a projected value of $125 average spend per customer (NRF). Make gift card options accessible throughout the user journey, including when customers try to abandon the site.

Winning Experience: While busy customers are browsing the site, upsell gift cards on the category pages as well as the cart. Even more conveniently, let gift givers choose between physical and virtual cards.

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