The holiday shopping season is nearly here. Small business owners should be aware of the consumer trends and forecasts that industry experts are anticipating, so they can maximize their profits from this shopping boom period.
Failure to prepare for the predicted behavior of consumers during the coming holiday season could mean missing out on a lot of sales.
Check out this a quick guide on the big predictions for the holiday shopping season that are likely to impact small business owners.
2021 Holiday Shopping Predictions
The pandemic proved to be a boon to ecommerce businesses, as shopping in person became heavily restricted, if not outright impossible, during the multiple lockdowns.
The trend for shopping online is looking like it is only going to increase as we head into the 2021 holiday shopping season, and ecommerce businesses need to be ready to take advantage. The reopened high street shops will be taking a big chunk of the market of course, but so many shoppers have been introduced to the convenience of shopping online during the pandemic that ecommerce businesses need to be ready for a larger than usual influx of customers.
This means that small business owners need to regularly check their websites and their payment gateways to ensure they have not been overloaded and crashed. They must have contingency plans in place and know exactly what they need to do to get everything working again so they don’t lose too many sales to a website breakdown or a problem processing more payments than usual.
Consumers to Make an Early Start
With all the restrictions we have been living with during the pandemic, it stands to reason that many shoppers will be chomping at the bit to start their shopping for the holiday season.
Plus, with all the supply chain disruptions over the past year or so, many shoppers may have the impression that supply is partially or even severely limited. We know that consumers started shopping earlier last year due to the supply issues at the height of the pandemic, but even though the restrictions have eased considerably, the perception is still there that you need to get in quickly to buy the things you want before they run out.
This means that small business owners need to announce their holiday deals and advertise their promotions earlier than they normally would.
Inventory and Supply Chain Issues
Following on from the influx of online shoppers and many of them making an early start, it is crucial for small business owners to prepare their inventories in the months leading up to the holiday season. They must be aware of all supply chain constraints and any issues with their goods being delivered. This is because there are still frequent problems with global supply chains, with consumer demand often exceeding production capacities.
Couple this with the transport delays currently affecting the world and it means that small business owners must take care of such issues well ahead of the coming holiday season.
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More in: Holidays
If you’re a brick & mortar retailer with inventory in the store, there will be an opportunity to make sales when online purchasing falters over shipping/supply chain concerns.