Ecommerce Holiday Shopping Trends To Inform Your Brand’s 2023 Plan

Zephyr Jaeger

Insights to help your brand prepare for the holiday shopping season. 

When setting out to start their ecommerce holiday shopping, the majority of consumers are focused on one major thing: deals. The “deal-seeking mindset,” as Google has named it, is a driving factor in holiday shopping, dictating how and where different kinds of shoppers spend their money during the gift-giving season. But don’t count on those discount codes alone to draw traffic and drive sales; according to Think With Google, even the most devoted deal-seekers prioritize quality and value over price. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss the holiday shopping trends 2023 is sure to bring, based on ecommerce holiday data from the past couple of years. 

The Premeditating Purchaser 

One of the most important things to note about today’s savvy consumers is that they’re a lot less impulsive than you might think, and they’re often thinking ahead. While it may seem like dangling a discount in front of people will get them to insta-purchase something, today’s online shoppers are much more calculated than we give them credit for, especially when it comes to holiday shopping. Per a Google survey, only 26% of holiday purchases were made impulsively during Cyber 5 (Black Friday through Cyber Monday) last year. 

Playing into the lack of impulsivity with ecommerce holiday shopping is the general functionality of ecommerce. While online shopping certainly creates an environment that can facilitate impulse shopping, it also allows for comprehensive and well-planned shopping; shoppers can do it all from their homes rather than battling the crowds. Smart shoppers are able to scope out possible purchases throughout the fall season leading up to Cyber 5, with data showing that 85% of shoppers have internet browser tabs open waiting for deals to begin. This activity shows a thoughtful approach to holiday shopping by the majority of consumers and informs us that advertising upcoming deals and discounts well ahead of time can help solidify your products in the minds (and open tabs) of your target audience. 

Speaking of “ahead of time,” last year’s numbers indicate that holiday shoppers are already searching for Black Friday Deals in October. In fact, according to Google, in 2022, “70% of shopping-related search volume containing ‘black friday’ happened in October and in the days leading up to the day itself.” So, if you’re planning to meet consumers where they are, it’s prudent to start your marketing efforts early, especially since so many purchasers these days are carefully planning their shopping strategies well in advance. 

Ecommerce Holiday Shopping Tailored To The Consumer

While deals and discounts are way up high on most shoppers’ lists of priorities during this crazy season, Google shared an insight that reveals a much more thoughtful side to these savvy shoppers: that of finding truly meaningful and “perfect” gifts for their loved ones. We’ve all faced the struggle of shopping for everyone on our lists; your mom always saying she doesn’t want anything because your presence is enough; your brother still being obsessed with Lord of the Rings all these years later; and your cousin with impeccable taste who already has everything they could possibly need or want. Helping to guide shoppers toward gifts that help them check people off their lists goes a long way.

One tried and true way to help shoppers find the perfect presents and enable them to uncover enticing deals is an array of gift guides. While they certainly aren’t a novel idea, the internet is a breeding ground for unique ideas and products from our favorite YouTubers, Instagram accounts, and blog writers. In essence, there’s a gift guide out there for every kind of giver and receiver nowadays. In 2022, a Talk Shoppe survey revealed that 93% of YouTube viewers said the platform provided “all of the information they need to make a purchase.” The capabilities of content creation today allow for super personalized gift guides and shopping videos, and help consumers navigate towards discounts — all good things when your brand is trying to draw ecommerce holiday traffic. 

Tying In Personalized Marketing

These days, talking about tailoring your campaigns to the customer means talking about personalized marketing, a strategy that goes well beyond broad-group messaging (such as makeup advertisements on a female-centric online magazine). 

We discussed personalized marketing in a blog post last year as the pandemic reached the end of its overarching reign and the insights from the author, Fishnet Co-Founder and Creative Director, Mike Packard, in that post are just as relevant (if not more) in today’s world. As consumers crave personalized shopping experiences in this increasingly oversaturated market, carefully crafting your personalized marketing strategy should be at the top of your priority list. 

Two major takeaways include: 

  • Be respectful of the fact that customers are aware of what we’re doing; modern consumers are far from ignorant of the increasing presence of personalized marketing driven by data collection, algorithms, and other online tools, so keep in mind that they are, for the most part, still in charge of whether or not they interact with your personalization. To make the most of these campaigns, utilize dynamic content, take advantage of tools like chatbots, and be sure to follow the real digital customer journey
  • Don’t forget to account for metrics in addition to data; the information consumer data provides can be invaluable to your success, but be sure to survey the metrics concerning how consumers interact with your efforts. Doing so will help you further tailor your campaigns moving forward. 

Ecommerce Holiday Preparedness

Catering to the modern consumer is the gist of this whole blog, and there is one final insight that can help you grab shoppers’ attention as they’re scanning for the perfect gifts: display ratings. According to Google, displaying ratings for a product “can surpass the effectiveness of a discount by 10% in a given product category.” 

According to a Search Engine Journal article, a staggering 99.9% of consumers read reviews when online shopping, with 96% looking for negative reviews, specifically. Here are some things to keep in mind there:

  1. Always, always address your negative reviews (and do so politely while also offering solutions to the problem) — ignoring or, worse, deleting negative reviews of your products or brand is a surefire way to lose business, especially according to those statistics above. Seek out and appropriately handle your bad feedback ahead of the shopping season so that consumers can see how you handle mix ups and don’t hold those couple of bad reviews against your entire brand.
  2. Prominently display your reviews, especially your really good ones. Speaking as an avid review reader, I almost never buy a product, eat at a restaurant, or even book a dog walker from an app without finding a review that is 4-stars or higher. 5 stars across the board is a bit of a pipe dream — there will always be mistakes and there will always be overly-critical reviewers — but aiming for and displaying those good reviews can clearly go a long way, especially during the holiday season. Semrush’s tips for ensuring your good reviews are prominent include asking valued customers who have previously posted positive reviews to slightly update them, making them move to the top of the view list, and being diligent about asking for reviews at the right time in the right ways (immediately after the customer interaction/the delivery of the product or service and, if a remote service or task, asking for the review via text message rather than email). 

If you’re in need of help preparing your ecommerce holiday marketing strategy, contact us today!

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Zephyr Jaeger
Zephyr Jaeger
As a Content Strategist/Copywriter here at Fishnet, I work on a wide range of content and copy work. From Fishnet blogs, to writing and reviewing client website copy, to SEO research, I’m always jumping from one aspect of content production to another. I work closely with all departments, especially those on the creative side of things, to craft the best content possible for Fishnet and their valued clients.

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