Your favorite Orange County Bookkeeper is here to share this year’s projected holiday trends and upcoming opportunities for your business! This 2021 holiday sales season will give businesses a chance to continue their online migration from 2020 trends, with possibilities for more refinement and improvements. The goal is to bring as much as possible online and integrate all of your customer touch points into an omnichannel of positive experiences. How does your business fare when it comes to a fully online experience? Let’s take a look at some trends in retail that we can apply to many other industries. These trends will strengthen your businesses and position us well for the future.
Strong E-Commerce Presence
Online shopping and delivery increased heavily last year. This trend is expected to continue beyond the pandemic. For this reason, businesses that want to get ahead should strengthen their online presence, especially their e-commerce presence. Even when customers don’t purchase directly online, many still research online first, then visit the physical location to finalize their transaction. For those that do purchase online, businesses with physical goods have enhanced delivery options and implemented curbside pickup. Many retail establishments benefit from a complete ecommerce solution, including a storefront, shopping cart, online payment process, and automated fulfillment. Here are some ways to expand your business’s online effectiveness:
- Enable chat features between customers and store clerks to simulate the conversation the customer might experience in the physical store.
- For clothing, post detailed sizing charts, imitate the dressing room mirror with try-on automation, and use photos of models in all shapes and sizes.
- Create how-to videos to show customers ways to effectively use the product.
- Expand product photos so customers can see all angles of the product as well as how it can be used.
- Display and sort user reviews to help customers make decisions.
- Implement clear navigation and search options so customers can find what they want with ease.
Expanding your business’s e-commerce presence doesn’t just apply to retail. For example, real estate agents have enhanced virtual home tours. Businesses in the services space have implemented appointment-setting and payment processing. In fact, our business at Team One Accounting is heavily conducted online, which allows us to assist business owners more efficiently. Our expert accounting team can help your business with our variety of services, including bookkeeping, business consulting, and keeping track of your holiday sales. (Contact us to learn how to get the best out of your business.)
The vast majority of transactions are now occurring on mobile devices. It needs to be easy for the customer to make a purchase via mobile devices. There’s nothing worse than having a customer ready to give you their money, but can’t do so because of a technical problem. If your business’s websites aren’t mobile-friendly, then you’ll want to make that a priority this year to catch up with your competitors.
Social Media Presence
More and more consumers are using social media channels – Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Clubhouse, and Facebook – to discover and purchase items that delight them. Wise business owners will invest more budget into attracting customers from this channel. Having a social media presence gives your business more credibility. Some businesses like Wendy’s fast food restaurants have made theirs extra memorable by creating comical posts.
Each business has a unique sales cycle that a customer goes through when purchasing goods and services. With the move to online shopping, the holiday season has been extended from just one day or one weekend to entire months. Consumers are shopping earlier and all year long. The question for business owners to ask is how they can bring most of that experience online and have plans for upcoming events when consumers are looking to spend money. Retailers and other businesses can benefit by always having some kind of sale or attraction going on. Here are the key holidays for the fourth quarter to consider:
- Columbus Day
- Halloween, the second most profitable holiday (Christmas is first)
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Black Friday
- Small Business Saturday
- Cyber Monday
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
- New Year’s Eve
Business trends are always evolving. We hope these tips from Your Favorite Orange County Bookkeeper at Team One Accounting for the upcoming holiday season gives you helpful ideas for your business. Make sure to subscribe to our blog to stay updated on new business trends!