The 2020 holiday ecommerce shopping season will be unlike any other. From Cyber 5’s proximity to Prime Day to consumers’ overall massive shift toward online shopping, many new factors are at play that weren’t a concern for brands last year and couldn’t have been predicted for this year.

Let’s dive into the top three factors that will make the hustle and bustle of this year’s shopping season a little more hectic than in years past.

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1. COVID-19’s lasting effects on holiday shopping

Due to COVID-19, more customers are shopping online than ever this year. eMarketer research shows that ecommerce is up 18%, while brick-and-mortar is down 14%. With this shift, 72% of consumers will shop more online this season than previous seasons due to store closures and safety concerns about going into stores that are open.

For the first time in several decades, major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy are shutting their doors for Thanksgiving Day shopping in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Friday won’t be the same either, with 41% of shoppers who normally shop in-store for Black Friday planning to stay home this year.

2. Priming for a Q4 Prime Day

How will Q4 seasonality start to play into Prime Day? As you’re probably aware, Prime Day 2020 has been postponed from July to the fall. What does this mean for your brand? This presents the perfect opportunity for your brand to curate a high-intent audience to target during Cyber 5, whether you’re remarketing to people who purchased from your brand over Prime Day or targeting shoppers who chose your competitor.

3. Delivery times + shipping rates

Merchandising, fulfillment, and shipping have been major concerns of brands large and small on Amazon since the pandemic picked up in March, with Amazon not accepting any non-essential items to items warehouses for an four-week period.

As the holiday season approaches, customers haven’t forgotten about this.

Think about it: There’s never a more important time than the holiday season for consumers’ packages to arrive when they expect them to. This year more than ever, consumers will expect to know at every step of the journey when their item will arrive at their doorstep, with clear communication from your brand about any changes or delays.

The ability to have speed and flexibility in your decision-making will be paramount this holiday season. This is important every year, but 2020 has taught brands the value of being agile and moving quickly. Do as much of your planning ahead of time as you can so that when your peak days hit, you have time to focus on performance and making quick, strategic decisions.

To stay up-to-date with more of what’s going on in the world of ecommerce in 2020, see some of our resources below: