E-Commerce and the Holidays: Here Comes Everyone
The 2020 pandemic has not only changed our lives – it has also disrupted our schedules. Which is leading to a perfect storm that is looming for retailers this holiday season.
Holiday sales will grow an additional 30% online
First of all, e-commerce volume has grown dramatically this year, as shoppers increasingly trade bricks-and-mortar shopping for home delivery. In years past, we’ve talked about the spike in online shopping that happens every year on Cyber Monday. This year, *every* Monday is Cyber Monday. According to Salesforce.com, digital revenues in the second quarter of 2020 have jumped over 70% compared with 2019, and predict additional growth of up to 30% during this year’s holiday shopping season.
On top of this is the impact of retailers catching up from the logistical and capacity issues imposed by the pandemic. For example, this week the other shoe dropped in an already-busy online holiday shopping season, with recent word from CNBC and other sources that Amazon.com has now scheduled its annual Prime Day event to start on October 13.
Prime Day, a deals event for Amazon Prime members that normally takes place in July, has become one of the largest online shopping days of the year. While Amazon itself does not release sales figures, Forbes Magazine estimates that last year’s event sold over 100 million products and rivaled Black Friday in sales volume. Moreover, nearly 200 retailers now offer competing sales events during the Prime Day period, which in fact now extends for more than a day.
On the plus side of all of this, a later Prime Day may have the effect of spreading out the holiday shopping season, which normally begins on Black Friday after Thanksgiving in the United States. Nonetheless, anyone who sells online should prepare for an unprecedented selling season this year.
What this means for you
So how will this sudden growth period of e-commerce affect your business? Here’s what we know from past trends:
Order and delivery issues: Increasing order volume and high employee workloads can magnify the risks of data entry mistakes and data quality issues, which in turn can lead to lost orders and shipments.
Increased fraud: Fraudsters take advantage of busy shopping seasons to push through bogus orders and steal merchandise. And the types and strategies of fraud currently being used continue to grow, a phenomenon we’ve explored in a past article.
Data decay: Unless you have the right business processes in place, a busy holiday season can make it too easy to let your contact data go stale, with consequences ranging from wasted marketing efforts to miss-shipped orders.
Consumer confidence: Perhaps more than any other factor, your ability to deliver goods accurately and on-time will affect your brand reputation, online ratings and customer satisfaction levels long past this critical holiday shopping season.
How we can help
Each of our DOTS contact data validation products are designed to help painlessly automate the process of keeping your contact data accurate, genuine, and up-to-date. These range from validating new customer addresses at the point of data entry to flagging potentially fraudulent leads and orders, together with specific validation tools such as email, phone, credit card BIN number and more. And all of them have convenient API interfaces that integrate directly with most e-commerce and business automation platforms.
With the holiday season fast approaching, one of our biggest assets is getting people up and running quickly with our tools. You can test drive any of them, starting with a free 500-transaction license key and reviewing our comprehensive developer documentation, to see how our validation service can help your business. And our friendly technical team is at your service with expert implementation advice and available 24/7 technical support. Even with a shopping season of historic proportions looming, we’re here to help you through it.