5 Kinds of Research Online Shoppers Must Do to Ace Holiday Shopping

/ November 24, 2020 | 4 Mins Read

5 Kinds of Research Online Shoppers Must Do to Ace Holiday Shopping

The holiday shopping season is already here. This holiday season is unlike the previous ones due to the coronavirus pandemic. Learn the types of research holiday shoppers must do this holiday season

Did you know that 87% of buying decisions begin with online research usually conducted via Google or Amazon? 

There are several types of research online shoppers must do to get the most bang for their buck this holiday season

With so many shopping events lined up, the stage is set for the biggest shopping season of the year. 

Alibaba’s Singles Day is the biggest 24-hour online shopping event yet. This year it ran from Nov. 1 through Nov. 11 and generated over $74.1 billion in gross merchandise volume. 

Like Walmart (Black Friday Deals for Days), some retailers have already commenced Black Friday sales since November 6th, with the grand finale slated for November 27th.  

Accenture reports that the average order value (AOV) this holiday season will be $540, $100 less than in 2019. This may not be unconnected with the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant socio-economic impacts. 

Due to social distancing measures, more shoppers will buy online. In this post, we'll highlight five key research online shoppers must do before clicking the "buy" button this holiday season. 

5 Key Types of Research Holiday Shoppers Must Do This Holiday Season

1. Deals 

Google or other search engines are great starting points when planning your holiday shopping. A simple search can return a treasure trove of information about ongoing holiday deals. 

These discounts or deals can reflect on the listed price, selling price, bundled price, basket size, shipping fee, etc. You can also filter your search according to your preferences for more precise results. 

For instance, if we search for "Black Friday deals Spain", here's what we get:

Deals
Source: Google 

Similarly, resources like Black-Friday.Sale provides an in-depth historical analysis of Black Friday shopping events across different segments. This can help you pinpoint where the next big sale is coming to your region, and help you plan your Black Friday shopping. 

2. Stores 

Most online shoppers are loyal to particular stores or name brands. For instance, Statista reports that there were 112 million Amazon Prime subscribers in the US alone as of 2019, up from 95 million the previous year. 

Apart from one-day shipping, same-day delivery, and free two-day shipping on eligible orders, members also regularly receive the weekly Amazon Prime newsletter. This can help you stay in the loop if you're a subscriber. 

Store-specific deals are aplenty this holiday season. Visit your favorite online store and see what they have in store for customers this holiday season.

Stores
Source: Jumia 

You can also follow them on social media for exclusive Black Friday deals, discounts, announcements, giveaways, and contests. 

3. Price 

Price perception shapes consumer behavior. Thanks to sticker shock, the vast majority of consumers will forego a product or service if they feel it is overpriced. 

In response, researchers and retailers have invented genius ways to better present pricing information to minimize friction in the purchase cycle that may lead to cart abandonment

One of the tactics online retailers employ is the price slash, and it has been super effective. Prices are listed as though they were slashed. 

Price

Sometimes this is the case, other times it is not. In fact, in some cases, the price may have been hiked then slashed to the prevailing market price, or even hiked and "slashed" to a higher than market price. 

To beat this, itemize your shopping list indicating the current pre-sale price. During holiday shopping discounts, revisit your shopping list and compare the new prices. You can also use a price comparison engine to compare prices across different online stores. 

4. Shipping 

After shopping comes shipping. Here's where retailers pick, pack, and ship your orders to you. One little misstep and your order could end up in another time zone or zip code. 

Fill out forms correctly to avoid errors with your shipping address. Better yet, enable autofill to automatically populate form fields with the necessary information during checkout. 

It is also important to research carriers before choosing a shipping method. Some shipping carriers carry a poor reputation, so you might want to check that out. Most customer reviews will reveal how fast their orders arrived. 

When it comes to holiday shopping, timing counts. It is so important that packages arrive on time. You can achieve fast shipping using UPS Next Day Air Early, UPS Next Day Air, UPS Second-Day Air, UPS 3-Day Select, etc, depending on your budget and timing. Also, to enjoy peace of mind, you can track your orders in real-time and for free, so you know what to expect and when to expect it.  

5. Returns and Refunds 

Speaking of expectations, sometimes your orders arrive and they fail to meet your expectations. Dissatisfaction can quickly set in leading to regrets and resentment, especially if it was a gift item.

Thankfully, nearly every online store has a returns and refunds policy. But did you read it before buying? This is one of the key research to conduct before ever buying. Some retailers allow you to return items for free, some for a fee. 

During National Returns Day on January 2, 2020, UPS announced that it processed over 1.9 million returns. These were items bought during the 2019 holiday season. 

According to Statista, returns alone will cost US retailers a whopping $550 billion by 2020. The reverse logistic process also increases greenhouse gas emissions, with most of the return items ending up in landfills. 

With a little research and some restraint (like avoiding bracketing), customers can help to minimize the negative effects of retail returns. 

Wrapping Up 

When it comes to online shopping during the holiday season, a little research can go a long way. 

It can help you clinch mouthwatering deals from different stores and at the best prices.

It can also help you choose the best shipping carriers plus prevent avoidable returns. 

Spend some time researching before buying this holiday season, so you can get the most bang for your buck.

Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained eCommerce B2B/B2C Copywriter featured in eCommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Floship, Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man among others.

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