It’s not even Halloween yet and you’ve already missed black Friday. 2020 is a year of firsts and there’s no exception in e-commerce – this year, Prime Day replaced Black Friday and the holiday shopping season is officially on. Prime Day typically occurs in July and, as the name suggests, it’s typically just one day. This year, it was expanded to two days and, in case you missed it, it was Tuesday, October 13 th and Wednesday, October 14 th.  As in years past, other retailers quickly jumped on the Prime Day bandwagon, matching prices and luring consumers in with “limited time” offers and deals. Walmart introduced “Big Save 2020” and Target launched “Deal Days” to capture their share of the Prime pie.. So, just how good a “day” was it for Amazon? The numbers are still out but according to e-Marketer, the forecast is that Prime Day 2020 will have generated $9.9 billion worldwide – a 43% increase over the 2019 event. Other retailers saw 40%+ surges in traffic as browsing behavior and online shopping was at a high – this halo effect impacted e-retailers across the board. With a longer holiday shopping season heavily weighted online, where do brands focus?
  • E-commerce rules. E-commerce is here to stay. Deloitte predicts that ecommerce sales will grow 25-30% this year. With the holidays on the horizon, brands need to have a simple, user-friendly site with great communication and customer support for gift givers – and, a smart plan in place to drive qualified traffic to their site.
  • Shipping. Shipping. Shipping is going to be a challenge this year. We’ve already seen the major carriers struggling to meet shipping needs during COVID, and brands are having to deal with the customer service nightmare that follows. Being proactive and messaging shipping cutoffs and expectations clearly to the customer is essential to avoid a bad customer experience that could yield lower lifetime value.
  • Remember consumers are price sensitive. Let’s not forget that we are in the middle of a pandemic and massive economic downturn. With the US unemployment rate at a record high (nearly 900,000 filed new jobless benefits claims just last week), consumers plan to spend less on holiday gifts this year. If you’re a brand that doesn’t rely on discounting, brands need to demonstrate strong value and provide a best-in-class consumer experience to attract price-sensitive shoppers and receive their share of limited holiday shopping dollars.
  • Holiday is here. Ok, not really, but sort of. Prime Day was the unofficial kickoff of holiday shopping (what would have usually been Black Friday) and it just happened to be in mid-October. Brands should push promotions and special offers forward as much as possible to capture the revenue early.  It’s an unprecedented strategy but isn’t that the word of the year in 2020?!
Which brings us back to the beginning. Online shopping will reign supreme this holiday season. And thanks to Prime Day and the other brands jumping onboard, many have already started filling their digital carts. Including me.

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