Online vs High Street shopping – how to win this Christmas

Andrea Piacquadio
online vs high street shopping - woman sitting at laptop with a credit card surrounded by paper shopping bags

We know that the battle of online vs high street shopping has been raging for many years, and it’s clear that online has the edge. In 2020, COVID-19 has driven many to e-commerce stores, but with shops re-opening use these helpful tips to get customers shopping online vs high street stores.

In 2019, 34% of consumers preferred shopping online but the statistics for 2020 are expected to come in very differently. People’s reticence to use cash, annoyance with long queues and general fear over the pandemic means many who previously shunned e-commerce, are now switching over. Potential new customer pools have opened up, such as those over 65, who are newly becoming heavily reliant on internet stores.

Remove barriers to entry

One of the issues of online vs high street shopping for the less tech-savvy is the perceived barrier to entry. Try to step outside of your current position and imagine if you were arriving at your e-commerce store for the first time. Is the customer journey overly complicated? Do you ask for information that isn’t strictly necessary? Can you enable people signing in through Google or Facebook?

Try to simplify the process as much as you can while ensuring your store’s navigation is intuitive regardless of your previous experience. The aim should be to lay out your e-commerce store in a manner that anyone can easily and quickly complete their transaction.

Embrace the holiday spirit

People love the shopping experience, especially at Christmas time. While you may not want to pipe in non-stop Christmas music, you can add some festive cheer to your e-commerce store. People need to feel like they are shopping for Christmas specifically. You can add touches to your store, such as a Christmas hat on your logo or some festive imagery, to get people into the spirit from home.

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online vs high street shopping - man and woman sitting at a table each with laptop, woman pointing out something on her screen

Advertise the perks

Many consumers simply aren’t aware of the benefits of online vs high street shopping, so make sure you showcase them! Clearly state your returns policy, particularly if you extend it over Christmas, at the top of your page. If you have “buy now, pay later”, let people know. Show people that you are a safe and secure merchant and use social media to point out the ease and lack of queues of online shopping.

Don’t be afraid to discount

December isn’t the traditional time for big discounts, but 2020 isn’t a traditional year. Don’t be afraid to extend your Black Friday discounts through to January to drive sales to your store. Many of the big retailers shunned Black Friday, such as Next. Yet many of them are now running heavy discounts now the high street is permitted to be open. To avoid missing out on sales as people return to shopping and looking for discounts, use enticing offers to grab attention.

Manage delivery expectations

Many consumers are concerned that e-commerce shopping won’t arrive in time for Christmas, and with the number of packages expected this year and curtailed man-hours, this is a real issue. Clearly show your expected delivery schedule and update it regularly to keep customers informed. If there is an unexpected delay, contact your customers immediately to avoid bad feedback and make amends.

Next Steps

The Christmas of 2020 is a little unpredictable but opinion amongst consumers seems to be that we all deserve a special Christmas. By ensuring your e-commerce store is welcoming to all, you could increase your customer base like never before, helping you scale your store and finish 2020 on a high note.

If you would like assistance planning for financial growth, please get in touch with our team of e-commerce accounting experts. Together we can bring your e-commerce business to its true potential.

The best time to act is now.

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