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Following a year ravaged by the global pandemic, it is impressive how much in-store shopping has continued to thrive — especially during the holidays.

Adobe analytics recorded about $188.2 billion in sales from online shopping during the 2020 holidays. And with projections making 2021 out to be a record-breaking year, keeping up with trends has become more important than ever.

With that in mind, we created a list of the top e-commerce shopping trends to adopt in the coming holiday season to boost your revenue.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

eMarketer Forecasts for the 2021 Holiday Season

6 E-Commerce Holiday Shopping Trends for 2021

Final Thoughts: The Top 6 E-commerce Holiday Shopping Trends for 2021

eMarketer Forecasts for the 2021 Holiday Season

During the peak of the 2020 pandemic, people found new ways to search and purchase products conveniently — e-commerce shopping.

But, even now that the pandemic wave has subsided, consumers are still – even more – immersed in online shopping.

eMarketer predicts that U.S. retail sales will hit over $1.09 trillion, and e-commerce sales will rise 11.3% to $206.88 billion in the 2021 holiday.

Small and medium online business owners can tap into that revenue and achieve overall growth with some preparation.

To help you prepare, here are the top six e-commerce holiday shopping trends to look out for and what to do with your business website to maximize conversions.

1.   Giant E-commerce Companies Will Dominate the Market

A whopping 76% of consumers go to Amazon to purchase things online.

However, that isn’t game over for smaller retail companies. Instead, smaller retail companies can take measures to make themselves visible to buyers.

Smaller merchants can use omnichannel marketing techniques. Promote your online store through social media, emails, search engine optimization (SEO), organic searches and paid adverts.

What to do: Integrate your website with an omnichannel messaging app to direct potential customers from all your marketing sources to your website and engage with them.

2.   Free Shipping Options Will Be More Common

Free shipping is an e-commerce holiday shopping trend for 2021
Image Source

Amazon offers free shipping during the holidays, which has helped them acquire and retain more customers over the years.

Generally, more stores slash prices off of their products and shipping during the holidays to boost sales.

What to do: Estimate your revenue to see if there can be free shipping options. If not, you can offer a special holiday coupon to reduce shipping costs.

3.   Online Stores Will Offer Fast, Stress-Free Checkout

More online stores are building solutions to provide stress-free and quick checkout since up to 86% of U.S shoppers abandon their shopping carts due to complex and time-consuming checkout systems.

Several e-commerce businesses set systems for easy ordering, checkout and order tracking to encourage more traffic and sales.

What to do: Create a checkout system that accepts multiple payment options, and avoid including unnecessary checkout pages. Also, you should prepare your website for the holiday traffic surge by investing in a reliable hosting solution.

4.   E-commerce Purchases Will Increase Due to Shopping Convenience

About 88% of shoppers won’t likely return to a website after a poor user experience.

Moreover, Fast showed that 18% of consumers don’t want to create accounts. Worse still, 15% of those who do never remember their passwords.

What to do: Make shopping more convenient by enabling direct purchases. Also, integrate your social media stores (like Facebook Marketplace and Instagram Shop) with your website checkout page and improve your website’s overall UX design.

5.   Shoppers Will Purchase Goods Based on Emotions

More consumers are making purchases based on their emotions. The majority of online purchases are not rational decisions. Instead, they result from emotional thoughts — such as how people feel, their perception of a brand and what they hope to achieve.

Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman explained in his book How Customers Think: Essential Insights into the Mind of the Market that 95% of what we buy are decisions we make in our subconsciousness.

What to do: Use emotional and powerful words in your website copy, content, headlines and calls-to-action. Focus more on the benefit your products offer than their features.

The holiday period is the season for e-commerce businesses, and shoppers look forward to it every year because it’s always a win-win for both sides. E-commerce stores record massive sales, and their customers get the best product deals.

You can achieve peak e-commerce sales by following our guide on the six winning holiday shopping trends above.

Are you getting ready for the holiday sales? Create a full capacity e-commerce website today with WooCommerce hosting.

  • Tiffani Anderson

    Tiffani is a Content and SEO Manager for the Bluehost brand. With over 10 years experience across all facets of content and brand marketing, she strives to combine concepts from brand marketing with engaging content through the lens of SEO.

    University of North Texas
    Previous Experience
    Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media
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