By: Anthony Walsh, Retail Sales Executive at Ingenico
Holiday shopping trends change and evolve each year, and how consumers make payments during the holiday season change with them. Lines outside of brick-and-mortar stores at 5 a.m. on Black Friday are becoming a distant memory as holiday shopping, like many other consumer behaviors, shifts from physical to digital.
Holiday Shopping Trends and Payment Trends
For the past several years, all eyes have been on e-commerce. Online sales are predicted to ramp up even more this holiday shopping season. Deloitte forecasts 13.5 percent growth, which would push e-commerce sales up to $262 billion during the last few weeks of 2022. If this prediction holds, it would eclipse last year’s growth of 8.4 percent, and continue the exponential growth trend since 2012.
Furthermore, growth of e-commerce is expected to outpace overall holiday sales growth of 4 to 6 percent. Retailers need to be ready for an increasingly competitive market and have a plan in place to capture those customers who are shifting their spending online.
Additional holiday shopping trends include:
- Holiday Shopping via Smartphone. A trend that’s important to watch is how much e-commerce is actually m-commerce. About 75 percent of e-commerce originates on smartphones. Merchants can capitalize on this trend with responsive websites that deliver good shopping experiences, shopping apps, and accepting a range of payments that are easy for m-commerce shoppers to use, i.e., mobile wallets.
- Less Emphasis on Traditional Holiday Shopping Days. Don’t expect a rush on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Consumers will shop earlier, driven by deals rather than traditional shopping days. Most consumers will be budgeting this year and making purchases earlier than in previous years in order to live within their means this holiday season. Consumers may also look for options like buy now, pay later (BNPL) that help them stretch payments out over several months.
- Buy Online, Pick Up In Store. About 78 percent of consumers plan to take advantage of buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) this year. Several factors make this an attractive option for consumers. Purchasers don’t have to wait for shipping, and they save on shipping costs. This is also a great option for procrastinators who can pick up their gifts in-store and still have them in time for Christmas. Merchants can keep in mind that they can accept payments curbside or at an in-store BOPIS kiosk. Mobile payment terminals that work indoors and outdoors are a great addition to a tech deployment to help capture these sales.
- Self-Checkout. The majority of consumers, 61 percent, prefer self-service in-store. Drivers include the speed and convenience of self-service as well as having the option not to interact with a cashier or sales associate at checkout. Merchants need to provide this option with secure, efficient, and user-friendly self-service and unattended payments technology.
- Social Commerce. Social commerce – making purchases directly from social media – is growing this holiday season, with 41 percent of consumers now planning to shop via social media, up from 32 percent last year. This growth is largely driven by 56 percent of Gen Z shoppers planning to utilize social commerce for their holiday shopping. Merchants need a payments platform that enables social commerce and quick and seamless customer experiences that minimize abandonment and encourages shoppers to use their social channel for purchases again in the future.
Help Merchants Maximize Revenue
Additional trends to watch this holiday season are strategies that merchants plan to execute to capture as many sales as possible. Businesses will likely attempt creative campaigns and craft new customer experiences to maximize revenues. However, they’ll need the right payments solutions to complete those transactions.