2020 Holiday Takeaways to Drive Your Ecommerce Strategy in 2021

2020 Holiday Takeaways to Drive Your Ecommerce Strategy in 2021

Understanding what works and what doesn’t comes from our experience helping clients achieve online success. In this posting Mercutio and BigCommerce collaborate on key 2020 holiday takeaways for driving your ecommerce strategy in 2021.

The 2020 holiday season will be remembered as one of adjustments and adaptations as gatherings were canceled and traditional shopping rituals were upended. Now that the 2020 holiday season is in the books, it’s a good time to look back and consider things that worked and things that didn’t. By taking stock of what you have learned, you will be able to provide your customer an improved ecommerce experience the rest of the year too.

Key Takeaways from 2020

Based on post-holiday business surveys, here are some of the standouts data points. This list is not exclusive but provides helpful insights for how you can improve your ecommerce strategies to prepare for next year.

Slow Shipping leads to disappointments

Success rates at meeting delivery dates:

  • UPS
  • FedEx
  • US Postal System

With free shipping as the industry standard, many ecommerce retailers reduce this cost by relying on USPS for package delivery. With an increase in online shopping this year and fewer people gathering with gift recipients in person, the post office was overwhelmed with packages. The result was late packages or sometimes packages not arriving at all. Shortening holiday shipping deadlines by a couple of weeks or shipping with one of the other carriers with better on-time delivery rates would help to ensure that those gift packages arrive on time.

As Matt Crawford, GM of Shipping and Tax at BigCommerce, explains, this can have a big effect on customer experience and retention. “Most people see logistics and fulfillment as the technical side of ecommerce, but it’s actually another extension of the customer experience,” says Crawford.

“The real goal of logistics and fulfillment technology is to get logistics and fulfillment out of the way to create a seamless experience. When a customer makes a purchase and doesn’t have a good experience — when they don’t see a lot of delivery options, aren’t sure when the product will arrive, and don’t hear from the brand afterwards, the relationship feels like it ended there. It doesn’t leave a customer with a lot of desire to go back and have another experience with the brand.”

Purchasing behaviors continue to shift online

“COVID-19 has forced everyone to operate at a much higher level of digital maturity, and some retailers were more prepared for that than others. To succeed today, retailers need to put a stake in the ground and define a unified channel strategy from a digital and physical perspective. That’s the only way they’ll be able to meet their customers’ needs at scale and across channels.”

  • Sharon Gee Sr. Director of Omnichannel Partnerships at BigCommerce

This season showed that between the pandemic, not wanting to deal with crowds in stores, and more products available online, adoption of ecommerce continued to grow at a rapid rate. Many brick-and-mortar retailers are now offering buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup as methods of fulfillment. More first-time online stores were launched in 2020 than previous years with an estimated 24 million stores worldwide. With platforms such as BigCommerce that provide a large selection of built-in online tools that make creating and marketing a store easier, many reluctant merchants are moving online to capture this shift in consumer purchase behavior.

Increased adoption of mobile and social commerce

This holiday season showed mobile purchases up by 37% and social purchases up 22%. From these numbers we can conclude that mobile commerce will continue to rise for online purchases. Integrating mobile and social commerce strategies combined with the right ecommerce tools will become more of a priority in 2021. Having the ability to manage all aspects of your ecommerce ecosystem with platforms such as BigCommerce will simplify the process, making it easier for online retailers to adapt and grow with these upward trends.

Customers have higher expectations

As the online experience evolves, customers are expecting that their interactions with brands be more experiential and fulfilling. In-depth product information, user experiences, and personalization are elements that consumers have come to expect. Integrating the ability to online chat to address questions in real time adds to their experience and helps to meet their expectations of being attended to while online. Inclusion of videos, informative blog posts, and consumer reviews all provide the consumer with helpful insights to make a purchasing decision while supporting the brand.

“As we look forward to what happens next with ecommerce, we’ve got to think about things through the lens of the customer. So as a merchant, you now need to start thinking about everything around hyper personalization. Everything that your shopper does needs to be included in your marketing program. Make sure that you’re transparent as a merchant, but also treat me as if I’m the only customer you have.”

  • Meghan Stabler VP of Product Marketing at BigCommerce

Final Thoughts

By applying these lessons from the 2020 holiday season — whether it be improving your online customer experience or adopting a mobile strategy — will help you to achieve the desired results. With easy-to-use platforms like BigCommerce and experienced development teams like Mercutio available to help, you can turn your learnings into growth. Mercutio and BigCommerce are changing the way NW companies are doing business online.

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