If it scares you to think that (e-commerce wise), everything you’ve planned, worked on, sacrificed and hoped for in 2020, depends on what happens in the next 35 days, it’s because it is. The end of October is upon us and with exactly 35 days to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, it’s time for online businesses to shift into top gear, put on those running shoes and successfully execute what is left of their 2020 marketing plan.
Personally, I find it hard to re-focus my mind on Christmas and the holiday season. The last 7 months have felt similar to a black hole swollowed up a big chunk of the year, and now we’re fast-forwarding to the busiest online shopping time of the year. But there is some good news. Analysts predict that 2020 will be the year that e-commerce explodes.
“For the last four years, e-commerce growth has averaged between 13% to 17% increase, and last year it was up 14.7%. This year it will go ballistic, somewhere around 25% and it may go higher,” says Rod Sides, Deloitte’s vice chairman and U.S. leader retail and distribution.
Given the uncertain state of the Covid infection rates, many people still plan to stay home (or close to home) this year for the holidays, which means that money will be diverted towards buying gifts, tech and home improvement items. Even those affected by the economic downturn said in a survey that they still plan to spend as much or more than they did last year.
Of course this expected boom in online shopping will put retailers’ online strategies to the test. Those that use real-time data to understand individual consumer preferences, make changes the data shows are needed, and effectively leverage multiple channels will be much more successful in securing consumer spend this holiday season. Customers are demanding personalized engagement and get increasingly frustrated with retailers sending them offers for a recently purchased item and irrelevant offers, or failing to recognize them as existing customers.
The expected boom will put a tremendous amount of pressure on retailer supply chains, as they need to shift resources out of stores and into fulfillment centers to process unexpectedly high numbers of orders. The physical supply chain may not be able to handle the flood of orders and making those deliveries.
So while there lies a huge opportunity, there are also a number of big challenges for retailers, but if they get it right will reap the rewards this holiday season.
Onwards and upwards!
Daniel Gross – CEO