By Connor Gillivan, Freeeup
The 2019 eCommerce holiday retail season is upon us, and it’s time to make final preparations before the flood gates open. There’s going to be a veritable deluge of orders and inquiries – most of them rush. And then there’s all the complaints, returns, and refunds that will follow that could have you feeling like it’ll take you until the end of the first quarter to clear out.
But there’s a lot of good that comes from the holiday retail season, too. We dug into what major sources are saying about this year’s holiday retail season, and it’s a very positive vibe.
Here are 5 facts about the eCommerce holiday retail outlook and how each one will impact Amazon sellers.
1. Nearly $2.4 Billion in Revenue
We already know that Amazon totally dominates US eCommerce. It’s a $1 trillion business, second only to Apple. But you should also know that eCommerce holiday retail sales this year are going be the biggest yet. You sellers out there who haven’t yet seen the Amazon sales forecasts should really take a minute right now to fathom the impact that an 18% increase in sales could mean for your revenue. We think it’s a great source of inspiration for anyone to get into gear today and prepare to make a killing.
So, profits from Amazon have gone up quite steadily every year. And they are predicted to keep growing in the coming years – up to 6.5 trillion US dollars by 2023, just 4 short years away. The bulk of the boost, of course, comes from retail holiday sales across the marketplace.
Every step you can make right now towards improving your conversions – however small – can result in meaningful profits for your store. You don’t need to do the math with market share and new customers and Prime subscriptions. Anyone would readily agree that even a tiny slice of a couple hundred billion US dollars is a nice wad of cash. And more than a third of that comes from holiday retail sales during the Black Friday – Cyber Monday week alone, even with discounts factored in.
2. Shopper Behavior
This hasn’t changed much, but it’s still important to keep in mind as you consider every tweak that you make to your store this season: Shoppers today are internet savvy.
- They love to shop online from the comfort of their own homes or to make the most of long commutes and boring lunch hours
You stand to get more sales simply because there are more online shoppers today.
- They invest time into researching available products.
Your competition is growing with every site that goes live because shoppers might search on Amazon but buy elsewhere.
- They read online reviews and use them to measure a particular product’s value.
Positive reviews are vital. If you don’t have them in abundance, you need to show shoppers that your product gives them the best deal both in terms of price and quality. How? Respond to poor reviews with real solutions to problems and the steps you have taken to improve the products.
- They search for coupons and other deals to get the biggest discounts.
You need to prepare to amaze shoppers with the great offers you are giving them this holiday retail season.
Here’s what’s new: Smartphones are the preferred online shopping medium.
You need to make sure that your listing elements appear nicely on mobile and that you are coming up on Amazon app searches. If you have a store off Amazon with a mobile app, you’re already ahead of the competition.
3. Top Categories
Amazon customers get a lot of their daily needs, regular consumables, and other items from the retail giant. But if you sell in one of these “most frequently bought” categories, you stand to make more than the average seller:
- Electronics – 44%
- Clothing, Shoes and Jewelry – 43%
- Home and Kitchen – 39%
- Beauty and Personal Care – 36%
- Books – 33%
- Mobile phones and Accessories – 28%
- Movies and TV – 25%
- Pet Supplies – 20%
If you’re not in these categories, you might still be able to insert yourself. Think of what you sell and how it can be of use to people shopping in these categories. Then go list there, tweak your marketing, and watch the magic happen.
4. The EU Market is Ripe
eCommerce dominates in Europe, although it’s not as big as it is in the US. Still, you can still feel a significant bump in sales if you start investing in an Amazon Europe account. Amazon has been driving eCommerce in the 28 countries of the European Union since it broke into the market a few years ago.
5. Sellers are introducing Deals Earlier
To get ahead of the pack, many eCommerce sellers are already increasing engagement efforts with customers and potentials. They are also offering early promotions and discounts and introducing specialty products before the actual holiday retail season begins. With this manufactured demand in the works, you can expect shoppers to start buying earlier than the expected big week that starts November 29th.
You should join them. You don’t have anything to lose since you can still attract a good number of sales even if the number of shoppers is less than it will be during that traditional holiday retail week. And it might not be because the deals will reel them in.
In addition, because many sellers might choose to wait, you can capture them first. If they do jump on the bandwagon, well, then you don’t want to be the one left behind to pick up the scraps.
Preparing for the Black Friday – Cyber Monday shopping craze is essential to give your store a good boost in revenue. Everyone who sells online knows that they have to be on the top of their game during the holiday retail season. And you know that because they will be, you need to be because otherwise, you could end up making less than you do on average throughout the rest of the year. That means losing at least a third of your yearly sales. Ouch.
Remember to keep the momentum going through to the Friday after the big week. It’s expected that 50% of holiday retail sales will happen on this day, as it did last year. The mere 4 days from Black Friday to Cyber Monday can be a huge drain on you physically, mentally and emotionally. But it’s important to stay alert to get the other half of your 37% – a big chunk of the whole year’s sales that can only happen during this last hurrah of the holiday retail season peak time.
This holiday retail season is going to be bigger than ever before. If you had trouble keeping things together last year, then you will definitely need help this year. Even if it’s just for those 4 days to a week, you can hire an assistant fairly easily and affordably – also online, of course! Schedule a call with us at FreeeUp or go straight to sign up to put in your request before all the best VAs are taken!
CMO and co-owner of FreeeUp.com, a rapidly growing freelance marketplace making hiring online simpler. He has sold over $30 million online, has hired hundreds of freelancers to build his companies, is a published author, and is the owner of ConnorGillivan.com. He currently lives in Denver, CO. freeeup.com