There’s good news and bad news for online retailers as the 2023 holiday spending season gets underway. The good news: consumers expect to spend more online this year than last. The bad news: retailers who serve up subpar digital shopping experiences can kiss customers goodbye.
Those are some of the conclusions from a recent holiday spending survey of more than 12,000 consumers in a dozen countries by Cisco AppDynamics, a subsidiary of San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc.
“Consumers around the world are planning to do more of their holiday season shopping online than ever before this year,” James Harvey, executive chief technology officer for Cisco AppDynamics’ Europe, Middle East and Africa region, said in a statement. “On average, consumers expect that 59% of their spending on key shopping dates such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be online this year versus in-store, compared to 53% last year.”
With high inflation plaguing much of the world, consumers believe they can find good deals online, especially during big shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, according to Cisco AppDynamics.
“And this year, they are favoring online shopping over in-store as they believe they can make their budgets stretch further (48% of consumers), get more choice (42%), and avoid last-minute panic buying in the shops (31%),” Harvey wrote in a survey summary.
He added that 43% of consumers expect to do more of their holiday shopping online, through applications and digital services, compared to last year, as opposed to only 13% who plan to buy less.
Holiday spending is up for grabs
But online retailers can’t take this favorable environment for granted, according to Harvey. He wrote that the research found “consumer expectations for digital experience continue to rise, and people’s reactions when they encounter poorly performing applications and digital services are getting stronger. 64% of consumers claim that if the applications and digital services they will be using to do their holiday shopping this year fail to perform, it will leave them feeling anxious and angry.”
Shoppers will be quick to act on those feelings, too. “More than half — 58% — of consumers claim that retail brands will have one shot to impress them this holiday season, and if their digital service or application does not perform well, they won’t use it again,” Harvey wrote. In addition, “71% state that if the applications and digital services that they will be using for their holiday shopping fail to perform, they will be more inclined to go back to shopping in-store.”
A key lesson from the survey is that retailers’ IT staffs must be able to closely observe applications and related systems to ensure they are running properly, according to Harvey.
Cisco AppDynamics didn’t release details about the survey methodology, including in which countries it polled consumers and the margin of error. A Cisco EMEA spokesperson did not respond to several inquiries from Digital Commerce 360.
Cisco, which designs and manufactures Internet Protocol-based networking and related products, acquired San Francisco-based AppDynamics Inc. in 2017 for approximately $3.7 billion. AppDynamics provides application intelligence software and a monitoring platform to help companies improve software and business performance.
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