“Have you started your Christmas shopping yet?” – is a question we’re used to asking friends and family around this time each year. However after almost a year of social restrictions, we all know Christmas is going to be a bit different this year. For most of us it means small gatherings, missing out on Christmas markets and a year off from work Christmas parties. However, people are still making their shopping lists and striving to make this Christmas one of the best, even though we know that our shopping experiences this year will be a bit different to normal.

While the threat of the Coronavirus still lingers on both national and local levels, more and more people are having to change their shopping habits in order to get prepared. So here’s a look into how Christmas shopping will be different this year and some ways retailers can make the most of it. 

Online Shopping

According to an Accenture survey, almost 75% of shoppers have said they will be doing their Christmas shopping online this year – this is up from 65% last year. With the extra influx of traffic that online retailers are expecting, it gives them a bigger challenge this year, competing for the sales as well as extra pressure to meet shoppers’ demands.

Besides making sure their site is prepared for Christmas – their services and products are well-described and pages are properly optimised to get the best possible rankings on search engines, online retailers should also consider what delivery and click-and-collect services they will offer in the run up to Christmas. 

Despite the different circumstances around Christmas shopping this year, people have not lost their sense of urgency and finding retailers that offer efficient delivery services will be high up in the priority list of shoppers. With bigger online retailers priding themselves on efficient delivery, such as Amazon Prime and free next-day delivery, smaller retailers are under more pressure to offer fast delivery at a low-cost in order to compete. 

Shop Local

Despite stats showing that many people are opting for buying their Christmas gifts online this year, national restrictions are ending next week, which means shops and businesses have been given the green light to reopen, just in time for Christmas. 

This year, local SEO has been a massive trend – evidently promoted by the pandemic and the threat that the virus has posed to local businesses. Following the ‘Shop Local’ campaigns which aimed to encourage people to support local businesses and retailers, SEO and Digital Marketing agencies like us, have been encouraging small and independent retailers to invest in local SEO in order to boost their visibility online and promote their products and services to a new audience. 

For most businesses, two of the key things to do is filling out their Google my Business profile fully and ensuring their website is mobile friendly and properly optimised towards local searches. 

In times like this it’s so important to support our local businesses. So once our nationwide restrictions are lifted, try and pass business to small, local retailers who desperately need it this year more than ever!

While Christmas sales are already reaching their peak, it’s not too late for online and local retailers to take advantage of the surge in digital traffic and promote their online or bricks and mortar stores online. The SEO team at Colewood are always happy to help businesses looking for advice and guidance on optimising their websites, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! 

In the meantime, Happy Christmas Shopping!

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