The holidays might be a while away, but if you are a sales-oriented business, it’s never too soon to start planning. For many retailers, particularly those in ecommerce, the holiday shopping season is the biggest and busiest time of year. And, it’s expected to only get bigger with a projected 15.8 percent climb in ecommerce for the 2017 holiday season1.
To prepare your business for what lies ahead, it’s helpful to start by studying customers’ expectations and where and when the spending took place in the previous year. Ready to dive in to see what’s in store for 2017?
What to Expect this Holiday Season
Consumers are shopping last minute. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday generate buzz online and offline, last year the majority of consumers shopped in the weeks following Cyber Monday2. This is due to several factors including retailers extending cyber sales and better online shipping options3.
Online and mobile shopping will continue to grow. Last year, over half of consumers shopped online for gifts, with 20 percent using their mobile devices4. And, as companies work to refine their omnichannel strategies to accommodate a generation of mobile-friendly consumers, ecommerce will likely continue to dominate.
Consumers are hunting for bargains. Last year, 73.3 percent of customers relayed that the top factor for choosing a retailer during the holiday season was sales or price discounts5. Given this, retailers should make compelling offers to increase their competitiveness.
Consumers want shipping deals too. In 2016, 48 percent of customers said free shipping and shipping promotions was a key factor in purchasing from a retailer, the highest ever6. When planning for the 2017 holiday shopping season, companies should consider integrating free shipping promotions if they haven’t already.
Companies garner more consumer support when they contribute to the quality of peoples’ lives. Today’s consumers are more willing to spend money on brands that they believe are meaningful and will enhance their personal wellbeing and the causes and communities they care about. A study found that for every 10 percent increase in meaningfulness a company can increase its purchase and repurchase intent for consumers by 10 percent and 5 percent respectively7.
For the 2017 holiday shopping season, making buying exciting, affordable and easy, as well as getting merchandise into customers’ hands in a timely, affordable fashion, are important factors for retailers to consider when planning their retail strategies. As the above insights suggest, customers will be shopping for the best deals with the quickest delivery turnaround and they’ll expect shipping costs to be part of the deals offered. Start planning your promotions now to have an amazing holiday season of sales.