27 Sep, 2017

How Can Retailers Combat The Upcoming Holiday Season?

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Retailers, get ready! Shoppers are starting to get their wallets out as they prepare for the holiday season. This busy season will begin on Halloween and continue after Christmas, into the month of January.

For retailers, preparing for this season starts way before Halloween. After back to school month is completed, retailers start to roll out strategies to stay up to date with consumer behavior.

As you can imagine, this is the busiest time for retailers because foot traffic increases into stores, as people are itching to spend money. Because of this, business professionals in this industry are forced to keep up with the customer demands that emerge from this busy season.

With Halloween around the corner, Deloitte released a report revealing some holiday shopping predictions.

“Deloitte expects total holiday sales, which are seasonally adjusted and excluding motor vehicles and gasoline sales, to reach $1.04 trillion to $1.05 trillion for the period, which stretches from November through January. E-commerce sales could peak at $114 billion, according to Deloitte.” CNBC reports. 

Last year, the season’s sales climbed up to be 3.6 percent. This year, sales are expected to increase as well, but even higher, to 4.5 percent. This is causing retail giant Target to hire a record of 100,000 more employees to combat this season, which is a 40% increase since last year.

Target hiring more employees is good news for brick and mortar stores because it shows the direction in which the retail industry is heading, which involves an increase of sales.

The industry is increasing because of the fact that shopper’s habits are shifting. They are becoming smarter, presented with more opportunity, and using new resources. This presents retailers with an opportunity to really dive into what their customers want, and where they will be shopping.

“With disposable personal income climbing and consumer confidence staying elevated across the U.S., the holiday shopping season could bring healthier sales for retailers to cap off a tumultuous year.” CNBC reports. 

E-commerce Will Continue To Rise

It is no surprise that online shopping is popular among consumers, and even threatens  brick and mortar stores. The Deloitte report suggested that these digital sales will rise even more than they did in 2016, which was 14.3 percent.

The 2017 holiday season will see e-commerce sales increase from 18 to 21 percent. This is mainly because shoppers are more on the go during this season, so mobile-first approaches are easy and effective while shopping.

For a retailer to successfully prepare for e-commerce sales to rise, it is important to make sure that your website and ads are equipped to be compatible on multiple digital devices. Nanigans gives expert advice on this topic:

“Mobile devices also mean smaller screens, so make sure you craft ad creative that will resonate with mobile users. Running a creative test ahead of time can help you determine which image and copy combinations are popular with audiences on smartphones and tablets. “

A creative test basically just compares performance among different devices, so you can fully optimize your campaign or website.

Understanding when your consumers are shopping is also a critical factor when figuring out how to combat this season. According to a report done by Salesforce, there are a few key takeaways that retailers should understand:

  • The most popular time for customers to visit online retailers is between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Cyber Week, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, customers will see the deepest discounts, averaging 28-percent off list price. The week will also boast the highest rate of free shipping as 86-percent of orders will have it.
  • After Cyber Week, Dec. 11, will have the deepest discounts and highest availability for free shipping.
  • Mobile traffic to online retailers will grow to 60-percent across the globe, compared to 34-percent for desktop and five-percent for tablets. Orders placed on phones will approach 40-percent on big shopping days, such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

Good luck during this season, retailers!

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