By: Justin Zeigler, Dir Product & Marketing at Datacap Systems, Inc.
After a year of nothing but the unexpected, the 2020 holiday shopping season was generally pretty predictable. Even without taking the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic into account, the industry saw the continued move away from in-store cash sales to digital and omnichannel experiences, which began several years ago.
2020 Holiday Shopping by the Numbers
Forecasts going into the 2020 holiday shopping seasons called for only modest growth; Deloitte predicted overall retail growth of 1 percent to 1.5 percent compared to the 2019 season. However, in some much-needed good news for the retail industry (and the ISVs and VARs that serve it), Customer Growth Partners (CPG) reports that sales in November and December increased 6.8 percent to set a new record of $756 billion.
188.2 Billion Online
CPG also reports that 70 percent of sales growth was comprised of digital sales. According to Adobe Analytics, U.S. consumers spent $188.2 billion online, growth of 32 percent over the 2019 holiday shopping season.
$10.2 Billion (in one day)
Adobe Analytics also found that online sales on Cyber Monday totaled $10.8 billion, the biggest U.S. e-commerce day of all time.
31% of sales on a phone
Internet Retailer research found that 31 percent of 2020 online holiday sales originated from a smartphone, and factoring in all mobile devices including tablets, the number increases to 40 percent.
1 in 4 picked up orders
Adobe Analytics revealed that throughout the holiday shopping season, buy online, pickup in store or pickup curbside, on average, represented 25 percent of sales. This is an increase of 40 percent over the 2019 holiday shopping season.
Takeaways for POS and Payment Solutions Providers
- Merchants need an integrated, omnichannel payments system
Consumers are finding the most convenient paths to purchase. That could mean anything from stopping at a store to quickly pick up an item and using self-checkout or researching a major purchase, confirming availability and ordering it online for in-store pickup or delivery. Furthermore, consumers expect all options to be open to them. Your clients need a full-featured omnichannel payments platform that gives them the flexibility to do business however their customers prefer.
- Websites and apps must be easy to use
Skyrocketing e-commerce and mobile commerce underscore the importance of optimizing websites and apps for all devices. Ensure the payments solution you provide contributes to seamless digital shopping experiences.
- BOPIS and curbside pickup are mainstream
Consumers expect the ability to order online and save shipping fees by picking up their orders in-store. Optimizing experiences for these customers takes robust inventory and supply chain management solutions, efficient in-store processes, and payment solutions that make the process smoother, even if they decide to return the item for a refund immediately.
- Your clients need the right hardware and devices
New processes require new tools. Work with your clients to take stock of their hardware and peripherals and whether they’re right for new ways of doing business. Also, consider offering additional solutions, such as label printers that can help organize orders for curbside pickup.
- Merchants need unique software suites
Retailers have taken a variety of approaches to adapt operations to continue to do business during the pandemic and maximize revenues during the holiday shopping season. Because there is no set way to engage consumers, influence buying decisions and make sales, there is no one solution that will be right for every one of your customers. Take advantage of integrations with third-party and value-added solutions, such as gift and loyalty, CRM, marketing and customer feedback solutions that enable your clients to create great customer experiences and operate more efficiently and profitably.
- POS and payments solutions directly impact competitiveness
With more retail activity taking place digitally instead of in brick-and-mortar locations, POS and payments solutions will play a bigger role in business success. Retailers who don’t have updated technology will lose out to their competition that can meet their customers’ demands.
Now, with the dust settling after the 2020 holiday shopping season, it’s a good time to reevaluate the solutions you offer merchants. Then, if needed, update your offerings with new features or integrations that can help your clients achieve greater success.