‘Tis the Season… to Shop! Top Retail Trends You Should be Watching this Holiday Season

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  • on October 22, 2018

This year, many things happened in the retail space – especially when we think about the success of last year’s holiday season. Even though Halloween 2018 has yet to pass, the entire retail industry has been gearing up for the biggest, and most wonderful, time of the year: the Christmas season.

It is critical for brands and retailers to take advantage of this surge in shopping and to meet and exceed their sales goals during this season. To do this, retailers must understand how consumers prefer to shop and what motivates them to buy. Based in a recent article published on Forbes, here are some of the top trends that are impacting retail this season.

1. Black Friday.

According to Adobe Insights Holiday Report, Black Friday represented 4.6 percent of total U.S. retail revenue for the holiday season. Meanwhile, Cyber Monday represented 6.1 percent of total holiday retail sales. Despite the fact that holiday shopping and sales start early, shoppers tend to have mixed feelings when it comes to Black Friday. Although consumers confirm that they do most of their holiday shopping during this time, many are expected to not participate. That being said, brands and retailers should come up with a strategy that gets shoppers to their stores – or at least to their online sites.

2. Mobile shopping will set more records.

Last year, it was reported that mobile accounted for more than half of the online traffic to most product categories throughout online stores. Especially around big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, many consumers use their phone or tablet to shop online from the comforts of their couch. To capitalize, retailers should ensure that their websites along with their marketing and advertising campaigns are optimized for mobile and you are active on social media throughout major holidays.

3. Move over physical gifts, experiences are taking over.

While the majority of shoppers plan to give physical gifts to their loved ones this year, most consumers plan on giving meaningful experiences as gifts. Almost a third of shoppers said this year they plan to give experiential gifts, such a travel, instead of or in addition to physical gifts. Brands should take note of this growing trend and target promotions and campaigns around this emerging category – especially when trying to attract millennials.

4. Get in the Holiday spirit.

Most of the time, consumers associate shopping during the winter season as an integral part of getting into a festive holiday spirit. That being said, whether it is online or in-store, delivering a positive shopping experience to these consumers is always important. During the holidays, it is even more critical. As a brand, consider how you can spread the holiday spirit, like inspiring gift ideas through holiday-tailored email campaigns. Either way, targeting these consumers and getting them into the holiday spirit will boost sales in the upcoming holiday season.

All in all, the holiday season in 2017 taught retailers that today’s modern shoppers are going to make their own rules. By keeping us with the trends in the retail sector whether it be through choosing to go mobile or rewarding consumers through their brand loyalty, the shopper journey will be enhanced to get the most out of this year’s holiday season.

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Jenny Schecher is a Client Services Director & Social Media Manager at The Millennium Alliance. Jenny is an avid contributor to our blog, Digital Diary, as well as all social media platforms. When she is not writing about digital transformation and technology, she is working with her team to make visions come to life at our events. (and eating all of NYC's best food.) Follow her on Instagram: @jennyschecs or find her on LinkedIn!

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