Searching for trends in a year like 2020 might seem like a bit of a contradiction. After all, it’s the year when every other sentence seems to start with “unprecedented.” But delving into Black Friday / Cyber Monday eCommerce data this year actually gives us some enlightening clues – not only about eCommerce trends year over year, but about the shift in our economy going into the holiday season. What happens to eCommerce in a year when more people are working from home? How do retailers shift their holiday sales strategies and expectations when so many consumers are shopping online, not in physical stores?
As a sales tax software company, we have a unique view into eCommerce purchasing patterns. We can look at aggregate numbers to see what types of items are being purchased, where they are being purchased, at what scale, and when. For this piece, we analyzed a variety of data processed by TaxJar over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend including: traffic to our sales tax calculations API, total value of sales tax calculations on orders, sales tax receipts, and order values. What we found will give you a glimpse into holiday shopping in the age of COVID-19.
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While it may feel like nothing in 2020 resembles years past, looking at the data through the lens of sales tax, we see that Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to show strong sales for eCommerce. There also seems to be a merging of the two holiday shopping events into a single, extended sale.
This growth is good news for eCommerce merchants, but it also demonstrates a need for them to prepare now for reaching new economic nexus thresholds in more states. And with the increase of eCommerce sales overall through the pandemic, merchants need a way to handle complex sales tax calculations seamlessly, while still delivering customers a positive, hassle-free experience.
To discover how TaxJar can help automate sales tax management, sign up for a free trial today.