Online Christmas Shopping: Will It Stay Strong?
COVID-19 changed the world in 2020. As the United States began to shut down in March of that year, people didn’t know how long it would last. By the time Christmas rolled around, things were only getting worse and many stores were closed. People wanted to stay home and shop. For this reason, Christmas shopping online went up by a staggering 28% compared to the year before. Online shopping has always been growing more popular since it was invented, but this was a massive jump that really changed the way retail worked. While malls and other places lost an incredible amount of business, people still wanted to spend, and they did so online.
What about this year? COVID is far from gone, but many people are vaccinated, which has helped to open things back up. Many who did not want to go to the mall last year, or who actually could not because it was closed, will have that option in 2021. Does this mean that online shopping is going to decline? Or will the numbers stay strong?
Experts Predict No Regression
In good news for online retailers, it looks like the 2020 situation may have created new habits for a lot of consumers, habits that they aren’t going to throw away. For instance, the numbers in July of 2021 were still 24% higher than they were in 2019, before the pandemic started. If consumers were still shopping online in the middle of the summer, that suggests things won’t change in the fall and the winter.
What may not be repeated is the same rate of growth, which makes sense. You’re not going to see another jump like the one we saw last year. But even minor gains are still an increase — and far higher than 2019 — and show that consumers aren’t moving away from online shopping. You simply don’t have as many new people getting into it as you did before. Those who already made the switch aren’t turning back, though.
A New Reality
Odds are that this level of online shopping is just a new reality, and there are a lot of reasons for it. First off, some consumers still are not comfortable returning to in-person shopping, though that could change in the future. What won’t change is that a lot of people learned just how convenient it is. They don’t have to fight the lines, they can get their shopping done early, and it’s simple to have gifts shipped to your house so that you can wrap them and pass them out. With many services offering free shipping and the same prices you’d pay in a store anyway, the only downside is waiting a few days. People have discovered that they’re fine with that if they plan ahead, and so they see no reason to spend weekends in traffic, burning gas and trying to find that last elusive item. They’ll find it with Google and put in the order on their phone, perhaps while watching Christmas movies on the couch.
Are You Ready for the Surge?
Is your online business ready for this spike in traffic? Are you properly positioned so that consumers can find the products they’re after? If not, we can help at Content Customs, and we’ll get you ready to thrive this year.