Price, Product and Convenience are Top of Mind

It’s a season of uncertainty, but as in previous times, disruption often leads to innovation and opportunity. The upcoming holiday season will look much different than those of the past – holiday shopping included. According to Deloitte’s Annual 2020 Holiday Retail Survey, price, product, and convenience remain top of mind for consumers this holiday season. A summary of findings from Deloitte’s survey include:

The holiday shopping timeline is condensed in 2020.

  • Consumers plan to start shopping at the same time that they did last year, but the average shopping window has significantly shortened to 5.9 weeks, compared to last year’s 7.4 weeks.
  • 47% of shoppers are not planning to shop on major holiday retail event days, such as Black Friday, Prime Day, and Cyber Monday. Some shoppers are not in the mood to browse or spend their time on events like Black Friday. These consumers are looking for the easiest way to check items off their holiday shopping lists.

COVID-19 is driving more online shopping.

  • 60% of consumers prefer online shopping rather than physical stores during the holiday season.
  • 51% of shoppers are anxious about being in physical stores during the holiday season due to COVID-19.
  • COVID-19–related anxiety is causing consumers to pull back from instore shopping, and nearly half don’t expect to return until a vaccine is developed.
  • 65% of consumers prefer shopping online to avoid crowds.

Consumers plan to spend less this season.

  • 38% of consumers plan to spend less overall. Price, product, and convenience remain top of mind for today’s consumers.
  • In retail categories, clothing and accessories are likely to attract the largest portion of holiday spend at 74% of shoppers.
  • Consumers want free shipping, and they’re only willing to pay minimal amounts for faster options.

The results are clear—more people are online shopping; however, despite retailers’ efforts to improve the customer experience, consumers still struggle to complete basic tasks when transacting online. Our recent Retail Survey focused on what customers expect in the online shopping experience, what they struggle with and what they do when they struggle. Key takeaways from this goMoxie survey include:

Struggle is prevalent and costing you.

  • 40% of shoppers recently struggled to transact online with a retailer. While your website may have support channels available, shoppers are far more likely to give up and leave.
  • Consumers are struggling with basic things including:
    • Insufficient information: 43% of shoppers
    • Difficulty navigating: 43% of shoppers
    • Error messages: 35% of shoppers
    • Login issues: 22% of shoppers
  • When consumers struggle, 52% of them will switch to a competitor.

Consumer’s expectations are clear.

  • The good news is shoppers’ expectations are clear:
    • 83% of consumers expect to easily find what they’re looking for.
    • 83% of shoppers expect communication from retailers to be clear.
    • 58% of consumers expect proactive information to be provided.
    • Email and live chat are preferred over bots and text messaging, so focus on the digital channels they most prefer.

While the upcoming season may be filled with uncertainty, disruption often leads to innovation and opportunity. You can recover some of the $18 billion in yearly sales revenue lost due to shopping cart abandonment by discovering your customers’ habits and preferences. Now that we know your customers’ preferences and where they struggle, how do you make the most of the upcoming holiday season and beyond?

  • Focus on the channels your customers prefer.

    Shoppers’ expectations are clear regarding what is important to them in the online shopping experience as well as which communication channels they prefer. According to our survey, when it comes to digital interactions, consumers prefer email and chat over text and bots. The lesson here? Before investing in technology to support your customers, make sure they prefer it.

  • Avoid struggle by anticipating it.

    Online shoppers face a myriad of basic obstacles. When consumers struggle, they are more likely to abandon the shopping experience entirely or shop with a competitor than to reach out for assistance. Avoid their struggle by guiding consumers with useful information before they realize they have a question.

  • Communicate proactively and clearly.

    Do you understand what your customers expect from their online experiences? Effective and proactive communication is key to a successful purchase journey. Use the digital channels you have at your fingertips and think about how, when, and what to communicate before your customers ask.

  • Guide consumers to complete basic tasks online.

    Consumers could greatly benefit from retailers guiding them with proactive and relevant information throughout the purchase path. Guide customers when they visit your site, through product selection, and check out as well as when they return for service and support.

  • Deflect repeat contacts.

    Don’t make consumers contact you for basic information. This saves your live agents for meaningful interactions and more importantly, saves your customers’ time and frustration.

As the critical holiday shopping season quickly approaches, it’s time for a more proactive approach to ensure your customers’ success and maximize your revenue.