$209.7 Billion! That’s the Holiday season online shopping forecast (November 1 to December 31, 2022) for the US, as per Adobe’s latest report. The report powered by Adobe Analytics has analyzed 1 trillion visits to retail sites and global views based on consumer behavior from over 100 countries across three regions.

We’ve prepared a checklist out of this comprehensive report for retailers like you. Our blog can help you evaluate your holiday season preparedness.

Worry not if you haven’t got a few things onboard already. You’ve still got time to catch up. Your efforts will yield results beyond the 2022 holiday season. Read on…

Mobile Checkout

Improving your mobile checkout can help you capitalize on a revenue potential bigger than Cyber Monday’s revenue forecast. Sounds unbelievable, right? Here’s the reason.

Online shopping via smartphones is steadily increasing every year. As of June 2021, 59% of shoppers have used their smartphones for eCommerce purchases.

There’s a lot for retailers to catch up in optimizing the checkout experience on smartphones. If you are a retailer in the US preparing for it, make it your priority. Offering more mobile payment options can help.

Internal search and in-store navigation

While the checkout experience alone contributed 12.4 Billion of revenue in 2019, as per Adobe’s report, there are several other factors shoppers use smartphones for.

It all starts with ‘Search’. Users prefer using your website’s ‘search’ to find products faster than scrolling through pages. eCommerce brands in the US lose $300 billion annually since visitors cannot find what they are looking for. – Google Report

78 percent of the UK’s top eCommerce websites are unable to convert through their internal search engine. 30% of customers who use the internal search on eCommerce sites are 1.8 times more likely to convert.

Optimizing your internal search engine is key to helping users move to checkout pages faster and convert better. Also, customers shopping in your physical store might use smartphones to find products in stock or navigate their way to find their products.

So, it’s about more than just the checkout experience. Instead, it starts from scratch, like site search, and extends to other user activities like research, inventory check, and in-store navigation.

Email marketing tips for Cyber Monday win

Emails work! Yes, they still do, especially on Cyber Monday. According to Adobe’s report, the share of email-driven revenue increased by 12% on Cyber Monday compared to the rest of the holiday season.

If your eCommerce store deals with electronics and computers, it’s a big opportunity you can bank on. Why? Adobe’s forecast report says Cyber Monday will yield this year’s biggest shopping revenue – $11.2 billion. And in the entire shopping season (November 1 to December 31, 2022), ‘Electronics’ tops the three major categories that’ll contribute to online spending.

Personalize your emails for Cyber Monday and get your best discounts on board with them. Deep linking will also help users land on specific product pages faster to checkout without hassle.

Social will attract but won’t convert

Your marketing efforts on social media platforms and display ads will surely attract audiences. However, don’t expect a good ratio of these visitors to convert soon. Display ads and social networks contribute less than 5% of revenue and only 1 in 10 visits. – Adobe Report.

Social media can indirectly contribute by inspiring users with ideas for shopping. For instance, a makeover video for a party can inspire users to buy the products they need. The bright side of social media efforts is that they can contribute 10% of your website traffic.

Prepare for a Holiday season that starts early with discounts

It’s not all because of the early Prime Day effect and the second Prime Day (Oct 11-12) that followed. 82% of consumers have reported that they are most likely to start shopping on or before Black Friday. That’s still a large window to capitalize.

With every holiday shopping season, discounts in categories like computers and toys are coming early. Adobe predicts discounts could go as high as 32% this holiday season, with early discounting (mid-October) offering up to 15% discounts.

Here are some of the top categories and expected discounts from Adobe report

Source: Adobe online shopping forecast for the 2022 holiday season

If you haven’t focused on early discounts yet, you’ve got a good time window to leverage. Also, make sure your delivery chain is prepared to handle orders.

Prepare for Cyber Monday shopping spree

Cyber Monday will the most lucrative time of this year’s holiday shopping season. The total spending forecasted by Adobe on Cyber Monday is $11.2 Billion, a 5.1% YoY increase. Also, the ‘Cyber Week,’ from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, will bring in $34.8 billion in revenue, which is up by 2.8% YoY.

There’s yet another important thing to note for retailers. The biggest rush on Cyber Monday will happen from 8 pm to 11 pm PST and is termed the “golden hours” of the season. Though early deals and discounts throughout the holiday season can improve your ROI, save your best for Cyber Monday.

Also, be prepared to take on the sudden spike in traffic. Make sure your infrastructure’s scalability and hosting bandwidth are enough to accommodate the rush to make the best out of it.

Manage out of stock scenario smartly

Consumers often end up in out-of-stock messages, especially during the holiday shopping season. Adobe report says consumers are hitting out-of-stock messages 5x as often as they used to before the beginning of the pandemic. Optimize your website to show alternative pages instead of out-of-stock messages.

You can also consider the following ideas. Provide details like whether the stock is not available permanently or temporarily. Inform customers when the product will be out of stock again and provide buttons to opt for the notification. Suggest alternate products or similar products from other sellers or brands.

Other ideas could be limiting the visibility of the out-of-stock products in search result pages and promoting in-stock products in the listings.

The fulfillment mandatories

BOPIS (Buy-online-Pickup-Instore) and Curbside pickup options are two primary fulfillment options for which holiday shoppers will be looking for. BOPIS and curbside orders grew 40% YoY during the holiday season, peaking December 23rd – Adobe Report.

The report also suggests that promoting and neatly executing BOPIs in the first two weeks of December till Christmas is a must. If you lack a physical store or location to offer BOPIs, highlight fast shipping options to shoppers.

Curbside pickup – As a continuation of the pandemic-driven trend, the curbside pickup was used in 25% of all online orders in last year’s holiday season shopping. Adobe predicts that the usage of curbside pickup will peak during Christmas at around 35% of all online orders. The fulfillment option is considered one of the safest ways to shop by consumers.

‘Free shipping’ outruns ‘better prices’ as the top reason for shopping

Consumers have chosen free shipping as the top reason for online shopping, next to better prices. Free shipping is necessary to win more orders during the holiday shopping season. Adobe’s report also predicts that consumer expectations of free and fast delivery will increase this year.

In general, 66% of shoppers expect free shipping for their online orders. And most customers are willing to add more products to their cart to qualify for free shipping. You can compensate for the free shipping offered through high AOV (Average Order Value) during the holiday season. You can highlight the shipping incentives for increasing your AOV.

Final Words

Online shopping during the 2022 holiday season is going to be the most lucrative time of the year for eCommerce retailers like you. We hope our ideas will help you prepare your store on the technical, marketing, and operations front. Happy Selling!