3 minute read

5 Retail Predictions for this Upcoming Holiday Season

Ah, the most wonderful time of the year. Or is it? With the presidential election around the corner and the holidays approaching shortly after, retailers are beginning to wonder how long their customers’ wish lists will be this upcoming season 

No need to fret, though. We’ve done the research for you.  Find out how full your stockings will be with our five retail predictions for this holiday season:

1.    Increase in Holiday Spending for Consumers

According to a report from Accenture, 44% of consumers are planning to spend more than last year this upcoming holiday season. This has retailers optimistic about the holidays, with over 60% predicting an increase in holiday sales, and 25% expecting sales to increase between 5 and 10 percent.

Retailers believe this increase in holiday spending is a result of economic recovery, omnichannel initiatives, expanded product lines and competitive pricing models.  Plus, with gas prices sinking lower, gifts will be piling higher.

2.    Frugality as the Theme

That being said, shoppers will still prioritize getting more bang for their buck.  In fact, 42% of consumers said they rarely or never expect to pay full price for an item during the holiday season. With every retailer implementing promotions during the holidays, shoppers know they don’t have to pay full price, and they plan to take advantage of that.

Because shoppers are being inundated with offers and promotions during this time of year, it’s pertinent for retailers to stand out in their customers’ inboxes.  One way to do this is by leading with the best offer in the first cart abandonment drip so the discount doesn’t get lost. To find out more holiday tips for email marketing, check out our Holiday Playbook.

3.    Personalization Matters

Amazon is already expected to dominate the upcoming holiday season, with 42% of shoppers planning to make the retailer their primary gift destination according to a new survey from Signal.  So the real question is, how can retailers keep up with Amazon in the coming months?

Roughly 46% of shoppers appreciate relevant deals and discounts, making personalization and data use critical.  This is an opportunity for retailers to utilize their online and offline data to send timely, relevant, and personalized messages to their customers when shopping in store and online. Reaching your audience with these offers before Amazon will give competitors a leg up this holiday season.

One way to engage your customers with personalized offers is to create custom groupings of products based on holiday merchandising and site strategy.  This will allow retailers to maximize revenue from gift shoppers.  For example, gift guides (for him, her, price point, etc.) would be helpful for holiday shoppers.

4.    Webrooming

Webrooming, or the act of shopping online but buying in-store, is predicted to play a major role in retail during the holidays.  With 81% of survey respondents saying they plan to participate in webrooming and 84% of shoppers admitting to checking Amazon prior to purchasing to ensure they’re getting the best deal.

To combat this shopping habit, retailers can focus on reducing shipping costs and shipping delays to encourage more online purchases.

Also, a survey found that omnichannel offerings could lead to more sales. For example, 71% of shoppers who use the “buy online and pick up in store” option are likely to purchase additional items during their store visit. By combining online and offline data, retailers have the ability to send more relevant, personalized offers to encourage conversions across channels.  

5.    The Quicker the Better

Today’s busy, hyper-connected consumers expect convenience. One way to do this is by simplifying the payment process.  In fact, Millenials’ use of the Dash Button has increased 75% in recent months. 

During this holiday season, it’s important for retailers to abandon old-fashioned sales paradigms that no longer apply.  Instead, they should focus on building a convenient, personalized shopping experience that eliminates time-consuming, over-complicated payment processes. Retailers who adapt quickly will impress their customers and keep them coming back. Loyal customers—the gift that keeps on giving.

Engaging customers with marketing messages in real-time based on the products they are engaging with will help simplify the shopping process for consumers. Also, highlighting promotions at the forefront of real-time email triggers would make it easier to access. Check out our favorite email triggers in the SmarterHQ Lookbook.