Optimizely Survey: Consumers Report Heightened Expectations for Digital Experiences this Holiday Season

63% of global consumers are more likely to do holiday shopping with brands that personalize the experience

Leading provider of digital experience platform solutions, Optimizely, today revealed results from a new survey, indicating global consumers’ eagerness to shop and spend online this holiday season, while having higher expectations for their digital experiences with brands.

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“Retailers have a captive audience of consumers who are seeking relevant content, ideas and offers online. However, only the brands that have progressed their digital maturity through experimentation and personalization to become adaptive to consumer needs will differentiate and win over shoppers.”

Based on a survey of over 5,000 consumers located in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia and Sweden, the research finds that nearly six in 10 consumers (59%) are looking to make this year’s holiday season a big one, considering the impact of the pandemic on 2020 holiday plans. This was especially true for respondents in Sweden (72%). Their deeper wallets will play a role in making this happen. On average, consumers expect their holiday spending budgets to increase 21.2% over last year (a 25% increase for American shoppers, and a notably smaller increase for German respondents at 13.6%).

“While brands should be delivering excellent digital experiences for consumers throughout the year, the stakes are especially high during the holiday season,” said Alex Atzberger, CEO of Optimizely. “Retailers have a captive audience of consumers who are seeking relevant content, ideas and offers online. However, only the brands that have progressed their digital maturity through experimentation and personalization to become adaptive to consumer needs will differentiate and win over shoppers.”

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Following last year’s unprecedented e-commerce boom, the 2021 holiday season shows continued signs of growth. In fact, 55% of global consumers (and 66% of American respondents) said they will do even more online shopping for holiday gifts than they have in the past. Additionally, about the same amount (56%) plan to do holiday shopping via mobile websites and / or apps (66% of U.S. respondents and 60% of U.K. consumers). Web and mobile aren’t the only online channels consumers will look to for holiday shopping, as nearly half of survey respondents (47% globally and 52% among Americans) said they get inspiration for holiday gifts from social media ads.

With these insights in mind, all signs point to a ripe opportunity for retailers – but only if they can deliver excellent experiences online. The Optimizely survey finds that over one-third of global consumers (35%) expect their holiday shopping experiences with brands online to be better than last year. Personalization will be key to delivering on these heightened expectations, as 63% of respondents (and 68% of German consumers) say they are more likely to do holiday shopping with brands that personalize the experience to their needs and preferences.

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