The beginning of the holiday season is sending out positive signals to online merchants and retailers, and consumer purchasing spree is expected to break all previous records. According to a report released by the Adobe Digital Insights, holiday sales on the Internet are likely to grow 11 percent compared to the previous year statistics, accounting for $91.6 billion between the beginning of November and December end.
Holiday shopping trends show that Black Friday sales are expected to rise 11% and shoot to $3 billion, while sales on Cyber Monday are likely to grow by 9.4% to reach $3.4 billion. As expected, Thanksgiving Day sales are expected to register the biggest growth rate, as many chain stores shall remain closed that day.
With the closure of some of the top chain stores and malls, online sales this Thanksgiving are likely to break all previous records. It is highly likely that Thanksgiving 2016 would be the top mobile shopping day of the year. As a result, retailers that sell online have a chance to optimize their eCommerce sales and boost bottom line.
Online shopping during the holiday season gives consumers the opportunity to avoid the mad holiday rush in physical stores.
Related: Fight Holiday eCommerce Fraud.
Long checkout lines, traffic and parking blues seem to be on top of the consumer’s mind when it comes to shopping in physical stores. The Deloitte 2016 Holiday Survey predicts that big box stores are expected to lose out a major chunk of holiday sales this season, and shopping at malls will register a decline by three percent.
The survey also predicts that gift spending this season will be similar to that of 2015, and average spending per consumer is likely to be $430.
Of total ecommerce sales, mobile shopping will account for 29 percent. Deloitte Holiday Survey forecasts an increase in the use of smartphones for holiday shopping, with 57% using mobile phones for price comparisons and 50% for product information.
According to Adobe Digital Insights statistics, this is the first time mobile visits will exceed that of desktop, though some consumers may use desktop for making transactions.
Like previous years, there is a positive holiday shopping trend for Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are expected to top the online retail sales of 2016.
According to Adobe Digital Insights, Email is the most preferred source of holiday promotions, preceding display ads.
With the holiday shopping season having just started, merchants need to be on their toes with seasonal promotions, with 27% of survey respondents likely to start shopping before Thanksgiving. More than 40% consumers are expected to join the shopping bandwagon in December, so there is still time for retail stores and eCommerce vendors to come up with exciting offers and seasonal discounts.
It is no wonder that 1/3rd of gift purchases are likely to accrue from an online sale or promotion. More so, 56% of online shoppers are looking for discounts and bargains that could give them the best deal of 2016.
About 71 percent of the survey respondents have shown the likelihood of preferring online stores that offer free shipping to others that do not. Smart consumers want fast shipping, expecting delivery of their orders within two days. Keeping this holiday shopping trend in mind, online retailers would do well to come up with flexible strategy to meet rising customer expectations.
Related: Free Shipping Versus Fast Shipping.
Online merchants and retailers are on their toes to ensure quality service in terms of returns, shipping, delivery, in-stock products, and customer service. Make sure you are ready for Holiday Returns and Exchanges.