The striking societal shifts we’ve seen over the course of the year has sparked a flurry of new  ideas, trends, and predictions that can be hard to unravel. 

Consumer buying habits and expectations have changed drastically in a short period of time. These changes have fueled profound innovation and creativity as businesses have fought to adapt. Old ways of thinking about the best way to acquire new customers and meet the needs of existing customers isn’t so certain now, opening up opportunities to stand out with creative solutions…if you play your cards right.

So, how do you sort through the jumble of information to create a successful end-of-year sales  strategy?

We leaned on industry experts and research to uncover the key market trends you need to know. Here’s what to expect this holiday season, plus a list of data-backed steps you can take to capitalize on sales.

 

Holiday Gift Online Stores

 

1. Holiday Purchasing Timelines are Shifting

Consumers are expected to make their holiday purchases earlier this season - closer to Amazon Prime Day in October than Cyber Week in November. There are three main reasons why this trend is expected:

  • Delivery Delays: Ongoing delivery delays throughout the year have taught consumers to expect longer shipping times.

  • Product Scarcity: Unpredictable demand has led to scarcity in certain items for both retailers and suppliers, leading consumers to purchase items while they’re still available.

  • Store Closures: Uncertainty around COVID-19 regulations and erratic store closures since the beginning of the year has consumers planning ahead.

 
The data

October is King for Consumers: 39% of shoppers plan to start shopping for the holidays between October and early November. 30% plan to start around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

October is King for Companies: Nearly half (46%) of companies start searching for holiday gifts in October.

 
Action Items

Get started now! Open up conversations about holiday stores to secure end-of-year sales and ensure orders are completed in time for the holidays.

Leverage social media to let customers and prospects know you can provide custom online holiday stores. OMG Clients have access to additional marketing resources in the Help Center.

 
OMG Features to Leverage
  • Live Inventory: Fill stores with healthy-inventory products to reduce backorder hassle.

  • Storefront Messaging: Communicate order and product fulfillment timelines to manage consumer expectations.

  • Store Building Service: Leverage OMG Store Building Services to quickly launch fully-branded online stores.

 

Shipping Packages OMG

 

2. Shipping and Delivery Preferences Have Changed

Adaptive businesses have discovered new ways to serve consumers as a response to COVID-19 regulations and health-related concerns. Adopting new methods of getting products into the hands of consumers has provided consumers with more options they may now be accustomed to.

 
The Data

Contactless Delivery: Over 35% of Americans report that they prefer more contactless delivery options

In-Store Pickup: Sites offering in-store pickup - drive through, curbside, contactless, etc - will see a 90% increase in digital sales over last year’s holiday season.

Online Store Purchases: 66% of shoppers anticipate they will increase their online purchases during the 2020 holiday season.

 
Action Items

Adjust your shipping and delivery options (if you haven’t already) to provide a seamless and consumer-centric experience that keeps everyone safe. Order delivery options to consider include: ship-to-home, local delivery, in-store pickup, curbside pickup, and location pick-up.

Offering additional shipping and delivery options may increase your cost of goods sold (COGS). Be sure to consider the extra costs this could drive, and build those costs into the price of the product or charge for certain options, to help keep margins steady.

 
OMG Features to Leverage
  • Custom Checkout Fields: Gather customer shipping/delivery preference and necessary information.

  • Packing Slips: Simplify the fulfillment process and provide consumers a positive experience with your brand.

 

Celebration Confetti

 

3. Organized Celebrations Will Look Different

Uncertainty around group gathering regulations in the coming months have led organizations, schools, and businesses to preemptively cancel holiday parties and get-togethers, or opt for virtual experiences. Large, in-person events like this are often part of an organization’s annual budget, which means funds may be available to spend on things like Team appreciation gifts.

 
The Data

Top Holiday Products: OMG data shows these products are consistent top-performers for holiday stores: sweatshirts and hoodies, speakers, jackets, tshirts, totes, beanies, and tumblers.

Cancelled events: Statista reports that 87% of event professionals and suppliers had to cancel planned events for social distancing, travel bans, and fear of putting participants at risk.

 
Action Items

Approach customers sooner rather than later to discuss their holiday plans for groups like employees, students, and volunteers. Offer a custom online store with branded merch as a way to redirect event budgets and engage their Team. You can even take it a step further by creating a more comprehensive and holistic strategy

Offer a small selection of specially-curated, high-quality products. 2020 budgets may not match pre-COVID spending and customers may be virtual. Offering a specific selection allows recipients options to choose from, helps meet product minimums, and allows customers to stay within their budget.

 
OMG Features to Leverage
  • Gift Cards: Allow customers to choose their gifts by offering gift-cards for certain amounts as “vouchers” from the company.

  • Product Bundles: Offer a specially-curated group of products at a slightly discounted rate to reach minimums and encourage higher sales.

  • Purchase Order Stores: Instead of bulk-ordering gifts for employees, encourage accounts to offer a handful of products on a purchase order (PO) store to allow employees autonomy in choosing their company gift.

  • Pre-made Pitch Decks and Sample Stores: Impress customers at the pitch meetings with stores pre-built with their logoed products, or use the Pitch Deck Marketing Resource available in the Help Center.

 

 

About OrderMyGear

OrderMyGear is an industry-leading sales tool, empowering dealers, distributors, decorators, and brands to create custom online pop-up stores to sell branded products and apparel. Since 2008, OMG has been on a mission to simplify the process of selling customized merchandise to groups and improve the ordering experience. With easy-to-use tools, comprehensive reporting, and unmatched support, the OMG platform powers online stores for over 3,000 clients generating more than $1 billion in online sales. Learn more at www.ordermygear.com.

Media Contact: Hayley Bell | hayley@ordermygear.com | 214-396-2110

Hayley Bell

Written by Hayley Bell