Strategies to Make Cyber 5 2022 the Best Ever
Remember when the Cyber 5 was predictable? There once was a time when holiday shopping trends were consistent year-over-year. Not any longer. A global pandemic, supply chain and distribution issues, and most recently, staggering fuel prices and inflation have made planning and forecasting for retail’s biggest season challenging, to say the least. Read on to learn what eCommerce leaders are predicting for 2022 and get some tips on how to make this year’s Cyber 5 one for the record books.
Cyber 5 Challenges…
Over the past few years, the official holiday shopping kick-off time has varied. In 2020, Amazon moved prime day to October and even offered Black Friday deals. Other online retailers followed suit, unofficially kicking off the holiday shopping season before Halloween. In 2021, Prime Day was moved back to the summer, the pandemic had ebbed a bit, and distribution and supply chain issues seemed to be more normal than in 2020. However, the changes from 2020 had made an impact on shoppers and brands alike. Many brick-and-mortar retailers decided against opening on Thanksgiving Day for the second year in a row, ending the phenomenon of running off to grab holiday deals before the Thanksgiving dinner dishes were done. In fact, last year Target announced that moving forward their stores would be permanently closed on Thanksgiving. Looking ahead to 2022, brands have new challenges to deal with such as supply chain problems that make those from 2020 look elementary, rising transportation costs due to record high gas and diesel prices, and as a result of all this, inflation. These factors are sounding the bell, advising consumers to shop early to get the gifts they want and to hopefully beat increasing prices.
… and Opportunities
So, what does this mean for eCommerce brands and shoppers? Although the Cyber 5 is iconic, the reality is that holiday shopping will likely start early again this year. But it remains to be seen if brands will have the inventory to kick-off the season will deals and promotions. Some experts predict that the inventory shortages common during the first half of this year will decrease as companies have doubled domestic production and focused more on regional distribution.
Another consideration for eCommerce this year is that in-person shopping is back to pre-pandemic levels. But the good news for online brands is that although shoppers prefer brick-and-mortars for certain types of shopping, they still plan to do a good amount of holiday shopping electronically. According to a spending research study by Convenience.org, 82% of respondents will buy Christmas gifts online in 2022. Considering that many stores are shunning Thanksgiving hours, it sets the stage for a profitable start to the Cyber 5 weekend.
According to emarketer.com during the Cyber 5 in 2021 more people shopped online than in stores. Although 66.5 million of us visited stores in-person, 88 million shopped online. On Cyber Monday of last year, 77 million shoppers made purchases electronically while 23 million opted for brick and mortar. Although no one can be sure what 2022 will bring, it appears that online holiday shopping is only getting more popular.
Strategies for Cyber 5 2022 and Beyond
Although eCommerce is here to stay, brands must keep up if they’re to be successful. Soaring customer acquisition costs and data privacy restrictions are issues for all online brands. In response, smart eCommerce brands will use the Cyber 5 to bring in new customers in a way that will convert them to lifetime customers. The list below offers strategies for building shopper loyalty starting this holiday season and moving forward.
- Make sure your eCommerce site is at peak performance: All new data from the 2022 Site Speed Standard proves that site speed is directly linked to higher conversion rates. Improving page load times by just 1 second reduces bounce rates by nearly 12% and increases conversion rates by 5.7%.
- Establish direct communication with shoppers: 89% of consumers are interested in communicating with brands by text messaging. This is an efficient way to disseminate time sensitive information about sales and promotions and it provides brands with 1st party data from their shoppers.
- Get personal: One of the topics at Shoptalk 2022 was the importance of personalization in the online shopper journey. Modern shoppers expect brands to use their past purchases and browsing habits to target messaging and advertising to their preferences.
- Properly use omnichannel: Even when shoppers make an in-person purchase, the search for that item typically begins online. Brands must effectively guide the omnichannel customer by ensuring that marketing, operations, and eCommerce departments are in sync. Breaking down data silos and investing in cross-functional teams will properly facilitate a connected shopper journey across channels.
- Offer subscriptions and memberships: Everyone likes to belong, and eCommerce is no exception. Offering shoppers memberships or subscriptions to your brand will help build loyalty. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a weight loss regimen, beer, flowers, clothing, or vitamins, memberships work.
- Make the most of technical investments on your site: As mentioned in the previous bullets, 3rd party technologies like subscriptions, personalization, and omnichannel add a lot to the online shopping experience and are expected by shoppers. But they can also drag site speed way down. Happily, data shows that optimized pages that are heavy with 3rd parties load 2 seconds faster than their lightweight counterparts when they are optimized. You don’t have to sacrifice site speed for advanced technologies demanded by today’s market.
Prepare for Success
Preparing for the Cyber 5 early increases your brand’s chance of success. Request a FREE Performance Snapshot to make sure your page load times are fast enough to convert browsers into buyers. If you’d like to learn more about the importance of site speed to your bottom line, join us virtually for the 2nd annual Site Speed Summit on September 15, 2022. Learn more HERE.