In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ecommerce has soured and the holiday season will be no exception. Ecommerce is projected to account for a record 18.9% of the total $206.8 billion in holiday sales projected for this year.

Last year, November Christmas shopping was disrupted by lockdowns and store closures. As a result, shoppers are sceptical as to whether they will be able to visit retailers and brands in person for the run up to Christmas. Now, people have brought their holiday buying forward, with many buying online and even stock piling in anticipation of shortages.

To capitalise on this mass move towards online buying, brands are reimagining their video content marketing strategies to include more engaging formats that replicate the experience of in-person shopping, online.

Key changes will be witnessed in Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending....

Online sales in October 2020 were already very high (up 25% year over year), which set the stage for an impressive Cyber Month in November 2020.

Global Black Friday 2020 sales more than doubled (+168%) compared to October of the same year. The 2019 Black Friday spike was more pronounced, at +213%.

This year on year increase forecasts big things for the 2021 shopping events. So, what formats will brands be investigating for their events?

Shoppable video solutions will be bridging the gap between online and offline shopping.

Rapid developments in technology have meant that Ecommerce has adapted over the past 18 months. One of the biggest crazes to sweep the globe has been live stream shopping. With the market expected to reach $25 billion in the US in 2023, brands have been quick to capitalise on such a revolutionary technology.

Live shopping has allowed brands to host exclusive events for customers from the comfort of their homes. The real-time video format creates a sociable atmosphere with hosts and customers communicating with each other to make big sales. This has really helped merchants to overcome the majority of obstacles put in place by the pandemic.

Even with vaccine roll out slowing the spread of the virus, people are still hesitant to leave their homes for potentially crowded areas. As a result, live shopping has helped to connect store associates and customers by removing the need to be together in person. The instant "see now, buy now" atmosphere of a one-off live stream encourages viewers to make impulse sales with special deals charging purchases. These discount events are expected to fuel Cyber Monday and Black Friday, presenting an exciting new future for Ecommerce.

Post Black Friday, live stream shopping events are likely to populate the internet right through to Boxing Day and beyond.

From gifting tutorials to styling and Christmas tree decorating, shoppable videos will shorten the path to purchase this festive period. They provide instant links to product pages as well as the ability to add items straight to the cart. See below for Smartzer's Christmas 20 partnership with Luxury retailer, Brown Thomas.

New shoppable video functionality takes the stress out of Christmas shopping by creating a memorable and entertaining experience. This elevates Ecommerce beyond the boredom of static images and flat, lecture-like video.