The 2018 holiday ecommerce peak is expected to be a big one. Holiday ecommerce sales this year (in November and December) are expected to rise 14.8% over last year to reach $124.1 billion, according to a forecast from Adobe. Nearly one dollar of every six spent on retail purchases will take place online this year.
This new record is the latest in steady increases in consumers doing their holiday shopping online since 2016, and continues to outpace overall holiday sales growth of 4.5%, according to the report. That will be boosted in part by voice-assisted shopping, with Adobe expecting 21% of consumers to reorder frequently-purchased items and 17% to make one-time purchases for pickup using voice-activated devices.
Cyber Monday is slated to become "the largest- and fastest-growing online shopping day of the year," rising 17.6% to $7.7 billion, according to the report. Online sales on Thanksgiving are expected to rise by 16.5%, reaching $3.3 billion. The whole weekend remains important, though, with nearly one out of five dollars expected to be spent between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, generating $23.4 billion or 19% of total online sales.
While this is great news for ecommerce brands, it also means your business needs to be prepared to deal with this projected growth. With so many options for customers to purchase products online, it's critical for your brand to have an excellent customer experience—or next time, your customers may shop elsewhere.
Here are three last-minute tips for ecommerce peak.
1. Triple check your online presence
Your online presence is vital for having a successful peak. Make sure all of your marketing emails are scheduled, your promotions are planned, your website is up to date, and your inventory needs are secured.
2. Have a solid team ready
You'll need a lot of extra staffing help during peak to keep up with your orders. Create a dynamic staffing plan and plan for employee incentives/recognition during the busy season.
3. Prepare for seamless returns
It's inevitable that some people will return their items. In the ecommerce world specifically around 15-30% of items will be returned. One key to a great customer experience is how your brand deals with the return process. Work with your teams to ensure that your returns processing and reporting is flawless.
With the right planning and preparation, your brand can capitalize on the major increase in spend in online shopping predicted this peak season. Good luck!