Digital Transformation And Extended Sales Contributed To A Successful 2020 Holiday Shopping Season

01.26.2021 Blog , Expert Insights
By Maupo Chitsulo, Marketing Specialist

In the wake of the global pandemic, retail invested in 3 years’ worth of digital transformation in under 6 months while eCommerce witnessed 10 years of growth in 3 months. So, it’s no wonder that the 2020 holiday shopping season was unlike any other we have witnessed! In the end, both retailers and consumers adapted to the changes in shopping options, resulting in record milestones especially for online.

Amidst lockdowns that caused a major conflict to in-store shopping, consumers around the world took various approaches to engage with brands and conduct holiday purchases. Brands that offered a diversified omnichannel experience, such as BOPIS and curbside pickup, proved successful during the holiday season. In the U.S. and UK, sales generated between the major shopping events of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Super Saturday contributed to an estimated $31.6 billion dollars in revenue while China’s Singles Day brought in $74 billion dollars. Altogether, the holiday season brought in an estimated $105.6 Billion dollars, an increase of more than 80% from 2019.

Read: 5 Marketing Trends To Plan For In 2021

While brands embraced digital transformation, more retailers offered extended sales events through the holiday shopping season. In the U.S., many major retailers hosted week-long Black Friday sales while others went as far as providing month-long sales and discounts to help relieve the strain of health concerns related to crowded stores and encourage social distancing. Singles Day was extended from one day to two, enabling participating retailers to promote their products across China twice with promising results. Giving consumers a longer time to capitalize on sales and make purchases contributed to spikes in purchases even in areas that were unexpected – for example, groceries peaked at 397% on Black Friday, while personal care products skyrocketed to 556%.

With the pandemic still ever present and showing no clear signs of dissipating, it is fair to say that the shopping trends that came about during 2020 will continue to lead business and consumer practices for the foreseeable future. 53% of consumers say they prefer e-commerce alternatives for convenience reasons, and 40% say it’s simply a matter of price. Consumers have taken to the great deals and variety in products they are able to find online, as well as the connected commerce options they now have available to them. Companies with resilient, future-ready business models that are focused on advancing the consumer experience are well positioned to ride out 2021.

To learn more about key Holiday shopping events, view the latest infographic from our Business Intelligence team!

Holiday Sales