Criteo recently launched a whitepaper entitled 2017 An Enlightened Festive Season, highlighting some trends that retailers should keep an eye on. According to Criteo, more people will choose to shop online and technology will continue to change how people shop.

Omnichannel experiences

The growth in online shopping means that retailers need to focus on providing a more holistic, omnishopping experience.  As shoppers move across devices and channels, they may be researching your products on one channel and intending to buy on another platforms. Considering how your target audience will move through the sales funnel is key to giving them a seamless buying experience.

The rise of Black Friday

Many South African retailers have joined their US counterparts in offering big sales, promotions and specials on Black Friday. In America, Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving. In South Africa, it is usually marked as the last Friday in November. Customers have come to expect Black Friday savings, so be sure to plan for the expected shopping sprees. Also plan your inventory and stock so that you are able to deliver on the specials that you are offering as this time of year can be lucrative for retailers who are prepared.

Tighter shopping windows

Many online giants like Amazon have changed their shipping terms and conditions, and they are now delivering products in under 48 hours. This change has led to a shift in consumer expectations, with many people waiting until closer to Christmas before they order products online. Criteo’s research showed that there was a big surge of conversions on the 22nd of December, which means that retailers should start to expect many purchases closer to Christmas.

Christmas Day is the busiest mobile shopping day

While one would expect that most people spend Christmas Day opening gifts and eating hearty meals with family, Criteo’s data shows that over half the people they surveyed are buying products for themselves on their mobile phones. Nearly two thirds of online purchases on Christmas Day were carried out using a smartphone last year and only 28% of shoppers opted to buy on a desktop. Not only should retailers be prepared for Christmas Day purchases, but they should also ensure that their websites are mobile friendly.

Easy, free returns

The research shows that customers expect simple, free returns. This is a key determining factor (it even far outweighs discounts and specials) for consumers when choosing an online retailer. Consumers expect returns, especially in the apparel category, to happen swiftly and at no extra charge to them.

Gift card add on

Online shoppers are far more likely to buy gift cards during the festive season. People who have gift cards are also more impulsive regarding their purchase choices and brands. Adding an ‘add a gift card to your purchase’ option during the checkout process is a good idea.

Webrooming and showrooming are the new normal

Criteo’s research showed that 90% of omnichannel shoppers engage in both behaviours:

  • Webrooming: Shoppers go online to research products that they then buy in store.
  • Showrooming: Shoppers check out merchandise in store but buy online.

Getting ready for the festive season requires carefully planned marketing campaigns. If you need an advertising agency to help you make the most out of this year’s trends, then contact Tradeway today.