With the increase in vaccines and the lifting of CDC guidelines (we hope!), Travel has definitely resumed here in the United States. United Airlines said summer 2021 bookings “far exceeded summer 2020 bookings.” Hotels and car rental companies are experiencing the same type of increase. While international travel is tested, domestic travel is like testing the waters.
So how will this affect your website traffic and ultimately online conversion and ecommerce?
But first: Were websites corrupted during the pandemic?
A little. According to eMarketer, American adults spent 13:38 a day with traditional and digital media in 2020. Of that total, 7 hours and 50 minutes – almost 8 full hours! – was spent with digital media. This is a 9% increase from 2019, which is a lot considering there hasn’t been this kind of jump since the internet started!
Consumers are definitely taking a well-deserved break from the computer to take a vacation and make up for lost time.
What does this mean for e-commerce?
Sure, people will be shopping online as usual, but maybe not as much this summer as they were last summer.
Online sales reached $ 791.70 billion in 2020, up 32.4% from $ 598.02 billion the year before, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is the highest annual growth in online sales of any year for which data is available.
In the first quarter of 2021, the growth of e-commerce was still in progress. Online sales increased 39% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021, nearly triple the 14% increase in the first quarter of 2020. As the vaccine began to roll out, checks from stimulus as well as tax refunds arrived, people were still at home and still in front of their computers a lot.
Currently, the second quarter has seen a huge increase in travel and travel related items to prepare for their post-pandemic life. So what will the rest of the year be like?
Prepare for the fourth trimester!
Normally there is a decrease in website traffic during the summer months, but nothing is normal these days. As July approaches, we see slight drops in traffic for some of our brands, but is this normal? Compared to last year, this is not the case. Comparing it to previous years, it’s on par, if not slightly higher.
Consumers are coming out! They want to relive life after a year and a half of virtual. They want to travel; they want to hug people; they want to meet new people. All of these things happen face to face, not on the Internet. So unfortunately for e-commerce people will want to shop in person as well.
Is everything pessimistic? No! Our educated guess is that the 2021 holiday season will see another peak in e-commerce sales that will not only be bigger than the fourth quarter of 2020, but also the fourth quarter of 2019. Families will be together and gifts will be exchanged. Consumers are relying on new and improved e-commerce websites for ideas, convenience, and price factors. We don’t see this slowdown in Q4 at all!