Computer mouse connected to Christmas gift (Photo by: Tetra Images/AP Images)

In its latest predictions report, Bazaarvoice Inc. sees the current momentum of online shopping continuing through the 2020 holiday shopping season, with social media playing a more significant role in e-commerce conversions.

The digital marketing firm said in its report that each month of the COVID-19 lockdown has resulted in “significant growth in page views and order count” for the brand and retail clients in its network.

“With consumers now adjusted to online shopping, social distancing measures still in place and many still cautious, online will remain a priority platform for customers to shop, compare prices and understand experiences from other customers,” authors of the report stated. “In fact, of those surveyed, 85 percent of retailers think that online sales will increase this holiday season compared to last, and 61 percent expect higher engagement and/or purchasing through social media channels due to COVID-19.”

Subsequently, 55 percent of its network clients said they are investing more in e-commerce web site upgrades “this holiday season compared to last year, while 54 percent said the same about social media and social commerce.”

Bazaarvoice noted that 61 percent of businesses polled “anticipate higher engagement and purchasing through social media for the holiday season because of COVID-19.” The firm recommended that brands and retailers “should prepare shoppable social content for channels like Facebook and Instagram, consider partnering with influencers to promote your products on social and optimize your web site for mobile.”

Other findings from the survey found that 39 percent of respondents “think researching and purchasing for holiday will start even earlier this year due to COVID-19,” while nearly a third of those polled “are starting their promotions and sales earlier this year.”

And amid store reopenings and then COVID-19 related closings earlier this month, 66 percent of retailers polled expected there to be “in-store shopping” this holiday season — but 85 percent of respondents see higher online sales this year as compared to prior years due to COVID-19.

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