How to prepare for the festive shopping season against the backdrop of Covid-19

As the Yuletide shopping period fast approaches, Bazaarvoice reveals how consumer shopping habits have changed as the ‘new normal’ sets in

As the Yuletide season approaches, businesses are reassessing their marketing strategies and adopting new methods of engagement in order to meet the shopping habits of consumers within the ‘new normal’.

In response, tech company Bazaarvoice has revealed its predictions to help brands and retailers prepare for the busy shopping period amidst the global pandemic.

According to its latest report, surges in user generated content (USG) throughout July highlighted how shoppers are engaging with customer reviews, photos and questions more than ever as e-commerce spikes.

Businesses should therefore consider their USG strategy for the festive period as shoppers use feedback to make purchase decisions, Bazaarvoice suggests.

The findings also showed that bargain hunters will be more likely to be on the lookout for sales, as the pandemic continues to put pressure on consumers financially.

Bazaarvoice revealed that in 2019 page views elevated more than 30% in November and order count was up 70%, with both Black Friday and Cyber Monday taking place.

And with more than 85% of shoppers claiming to purchase their Christmas gifts during the sales, the company suggests this could be the ideal time to slash prices.

“This year has been challenging for retailers, they must understand the behaviour changes lockdown has driven and adapt to engage customers effectively this holiday season,” said Suzin Wold, Bazaarvoice’s SVP Marketing.

Throughout the enforced lockdown, e-commerce has been a lifeline for many brands and this is set to continue into the Christmas shopping period, as consumers compare prices and interact with other customers online.

As a result, of those surveyed, 85% of retailers predict online sales will increase during the 2020 holiday season and more than 60% expect higher engagement on social media channels.

This should turn brands' attention to upgrading their e-commerce website and social commerce capabilities, Bazaarvoice says.

Wold added: “Retailers must have a holiday-specific plan that gives consumers confidence to purchase from them.

“It’s vital brands ensure their websites offer a seamless shopping experience and make it easy for customers to find the answers they seek through Q&A, reviews and brand responses to maximise revenue opportunities.”

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