The holidays are just around the corner, ushering with it this year’s peak season for online shopping. Any Shopify merchant who knows the drill is already gearing up for the annual shopping peak, which includes Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the Christmas Holiday season.
In this article by Ecommerce Pro, we’re going to give you a fairly comprehensive overview of the key insights, strategies, and Shopify tools you can use for the coming peak shopping season of 2023, tips to help Shopify merchants navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead.
We’re kicking it off by laying down some important trends before giving you tried and true ecommerce peak season strategies and listing down the best Shopify tools you can use this year. Let’s get started:
2023 Trends and Insights
Below, we take a look into seven of the essential trends and insights that are set to shape the 2023 shopping season that you should be aware of, including trends from previous years that will help you understand the present stage of ecommerce, as well as the expectations of online shoppers.
1. 2022 Online Spending Records
2022 was another hit year for ecommerce, with a record-breaking $190 billion surge in online spending overall. This result reflects a 32% growth year over year, despite inflation. Such significant growth reflects the growing importance of ecommerce in the retail scene that we may continue to see in the coming years.
2. Early Shopping Plans
Recent data shows that most shoppers, 63% of which, intend to begin their holiday shopping earlier this year. This shift in consumer behavior highlights the need for Shopify merchants to be well-prepared for this early demand, emphasizing the importance of a robust strategy.
3. Positive Signals Amidst Inflation
Despite all of the ongoing concerns about inflation, consumers retain some of their spending habits, with some adjustments that gear towards conscious consumerism. This shows that consumers have the ability to adapt to economic challenges and that online stores are well-adapted to meet consumer needs in this economic climate.
5. Hybrid Retail Audience
The consumers of 2023 seek a hybrid retail experience, an experience that successfully combines the best aspects of in-store and online shopping. This trend we’re seeing emphasizes the importance of an omnichannel approach to retail, ensuring that Shopify sellers can meet shoppers' expectations wherever they choose to make their purchases.
6. Convenience Over Privacy
As the demand for online shopping convenience continues into 2023, convenience trumps privacy concerns. This trend signifies an opportunity for online sellers to leverage technology and innovations that enhance the customer shopping experience across omnichannel platforms, prioritizing ease and efficiency, which is exactly what consumers want.
7. Shipping Concerns
Shipping anxiety is becoming more of a concern for shoppers and merchants, with shoppers increasingly concerned about shipping delays and transparency of the delivery processes. Managing customer expectations, inventory, and shipping transparency will be a significant trend this year and in the years to come.
Tried-and-True Promotional Strategies
When it comes to having a successful holiday shopping season, it can all come down to fine-tuning your promotional strategies. To help you navigate 2023’s holiday shopping season, we’ve listed six tried and true strategies that will help you boost sales:
1. Buy Now, Pay Later
Shoppers love Buy Now, Pay Later promotions because they feel like discounts, without the need to actually discount your products. This is because it helps free up cash flow for the customers. It's projected that Shop Pay Installments is positioned to raise average order value (AOV) by up to 50%.
2. Gift with Purchase (GWP):
Gift with Purchase promotions are an effective way to entice buyers. These promos give customers an extra reason to buy with its sense of added value. When used wisely, GWP promotions can increase not only sales but also customer loyalty because buyers believe they are getting a good bargain by shopping with you.
Creating product bundles is another great holiday marketing technique. Bundles can be used to increase the average order value, clear out old stock, and encourage buyers to try a new product. Offering a "buy the look" capsule wardrobe bundle, for example, might be a fantastic method to promote related items and increase sales. Moreover, many holiday shoppers are on the lookout for gift bundles, as bundles give off a sense of more value and convenience.
4. Flash Sales
Holiday shoppers are on the lookout for good bargains, and while discounts are a typical marketing tool, they can be used strategically to attract customers. This holiday season, consider offering flash sales to generate excitement and a sense of urgency. These sales typically involve intentionally limiting the amount of a high-demand product and offering it at a low price for a limited time. This classic scarcity-driven strategy can generate excitement about your store and urge customers to act now.
5. Ethical Promos
Ethical consumption is on the rise, and customers appreciate ethical promotions that connect with their beliefs. Options such as "Choose Your Own Discount," which allows customers to choose their discount, or donating a part of purchases to a charity, might be appealing to customers. These ethical promos let shoppers feel good about their purchases as they get to give back during the holidays as well.
6. VIP Treatment
Recognizing and rewarding your loyal customers is an effective strategy to increase customer retention and lifetime value. Because your top 20% of customers likely provide the majority of your revenue, consider offering exclusive incentives to them. These promotions could include discounted shipping and exclusive access to see your new products first. In addition to VIP access, making meaningful gestures such as sending handwritten thank-you cards, offering gift-wrapping services, or posting a customer's story on your website can go a long way.
Shopify Tools & Apps for Peak Season Readiness
Here are some more strategies and tools for Shopify store owners to use for a successful peak shopping season in 2023. These strategies involve the use of exclusive tools that you can leverage from the Shopify platform.
1. Ensure Your Financial Flexibility
- Shopify Capital: A business funding initiative offering founder-friendly capital, wherein merchants pay as they sell. Access up to $5 million with fast deposits and competitive pricing. No equity is required.
- Shopify Credit: Turn everyday purchases into cashback rewards and reinvest in your business—no fees, no interest, no credit checks.
- Fraud Control: This is an app developed by Shopify to safeguard your store with customizable order rules and advanced fraud protection.
2. Optimize Merchandising Strategy
- Bundles App: Increase your average order values with bundles through the help of this Shopify app.
- Shopify Discounts: Shopify discounts are a service that drives sales by combining discounts and automatic codes.
3. Enhance Site Experience for Conversion
- Shopify Magic: An AI commerce assistant that uses the power of AI technology for great customer support during peak season.
- Shopify Checkout: Customize your checkout on Shopify for higher conversion rates.
4. Find More Customers on Top Ad Platforms
- Audiences: Cut customer acquisition costs in half with Shopify Audiences.
5. Expand Reach Through New Sales Channels
- Marketplace Connect: Sell on top marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Walmart while managing everything under one unified dashboard on Shopify.
- Shopify Collabs: This Shopify app helps you partner with influencers and creators.
6. Double-Down In-Person Selling
- Shopify POS: Shopify’s POS program lets you sync retail and online sales for seamless shopping experiences. Sell everywhere people shop with the best omnichannel POS system on the market.
- Shopify POS Go: New mobile device exclusive to Shopify made for in-person selling. Close the sale anywhere.
7. Fine-Tune Shipping Strategy
- Shopify Shipping: Send your orders faster and for less with Shopify's simple shipping solution. Skip the extra apps, accounts, and fees.
- Shopify Markets Pro: Optimize international shipping with fast, affordable options. You’ll get better management tools for international selling.
8. Streamline Fulfillment for Faster Delivery
- Shop Promise: A delivery badge that boosts sales, displays expected delivery dates and promotes fast and free shipping.
- Smart Order Routing: Multiple warehouse locations? This tool lets you automatically prioritize the best location to fulfill an order from.
9. Leverage Analytics for Performance
- Shopify Sidekick: This is Shopify’s AI-powered assistant that can be used to execute tasks.
- Shopify QL Notebooks: This Shopify app helps you bring together metrics from different business domains so you can explore, visualize, and analyze shop data.
10. Turn First-Time Buyers into Repeat Customers
- Shopify Marketing Tools: A powerful marketing tool all in one place, with programs that work seamlessly together, like Shopify Inbox, Shopify Email, Automation, and Shopify Forms.
11. Activate Shop for More Mobile Sales
- Shop Cash: Incentivize buyers and grow your customer base with Shop Cash rewards (US only).
- Shop Pay: The fastest accelerated checkout available on the internet.
- Shopify Buy Now, Pay Later: Boost your sales with Buy Now, Pay Later, a flexible checkout and payment process.
- Shop App: This digital shopping assistant personalizes users’ shopping feed. An app brings together the best features of Arrive and Shop Pay.
We’ve given you a quick rundown of some insights, strategies, and Shopify tools you can use as a merchant to gear up for this year’s peak shopping season. Understanding and keeping an eye on trends and insights is important because it helps you stay on top of consumer preferences and industry shifts. This in turn helps you implement better strategies. Lastly, using Shopify’s arsenal of tools to help you through the peak shopping season gives you access to some top innovative solutions that will help drive a successful peak shopping season.
With that said, it's time to embrace the trends, refine your online selling and marketing strategies, and pick the right tools for a prosperous last quarter of 2023.
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