Both retailers and shoppers are excited about the holiday season sales. While the former worry about stock and inventory, the latter worry about how to wipe out merchants stock, at the cheapest price possible.
Experts expect 2019 holiday sales to reach or exceed $1.1 trillion. Others predict a 14% to 18% year-on-year increase from 2018.
Shoppers aren’t left out. 52% of them will shop online, spending up to $862 each, 5% more than they did last year. Social media with billions of users is also expected to play a key role this holiday season, with Facebook alone reaching 60.6% of internet users.
Click and collect, a.k.a buy online pickup in–store (BOPIS), will enable 48% more shoppers shop online, bringing retailers 28% more revenue. This also means retailers will forego shipping and delivery costs, saving them time and money, provided they have large storage facilities to hold holiday stock.
More than half of BOPIS orders will originate from smart devices including mobile and PC. Hence, retailers are rushing to make their websites more mobile-friendly.
Armando Roggio, believes that 45% of sales will be on Amazon, which secured 41% of total U.S. online sales in 2018, according to FTI Consulting.
Other Important Statistics to Consider This Holiday Season
A survey conducted in the U.S. for online shopping activities during the holiday seasons in recent years indicate that;
- 4% of consumers purchased a product on Amazon.
- 1% researched a product online before purchasing it in-store
- 0% purchased a product via an online marketplace
- 5% purchased a product via a Smartphone
- 3% purchased a product through a retailer’s reward program.
How Top Retailers Are Preparing To Excite Customers This Holiday Season
Here’s how retail leaders in the U.S. like Walmart and Amazon are preparing to meet and beat customer expectations this holiday season:
Walmart is the single largest multi-seller, multi-channel retailer which allows third–party sellers in over 35 product categories to offer their products on its Marketplace.
With deal drop, earn back, rollbacks, new arrivals, next day delivery, seasonal faves, finds, and more, Walmart is set to deliver a seamless shopping experience to shoppers counting down to shopping time.
Other holiday season preparations by Walmart include BOPIS and free delivery on orders above $35.
Amazon’s highest ever single day sale occurred last year during Cyber Monday, beating 2018 Prime Day sales figures. Free holiday shipping on all holiday orders, motivated customers to click the buy button.
This year, Amazon isn’t resting on its oars. From the homepage, visitors are targeted with products that ship to their locations, in 186 destinations from Australia to Zimbabwe.
Customers can also shop in their local currency as they browse through new collections for the season. In the spirit of the season, their homepage features “kids wish list”, a new fun way to create a Christmas list for your children.
This season, Target’s target is to “bring on over 130,000 seasonal team members, with a two-fold increase in the number of roles focused on fulfilling digital orders from its stores.”
It stated that about 125,000 team members will take on various roles at over 1,800 brick-and-mortar locations. They will be responsible for stocking shelves with the hottest toys, decorations, holiday meals, etc, as well as assisting customers in selecting gifts.
These team members will also help fulfill orders placed online via the mobile app. “Target added that roughly 8000 roles will be in fulfillment and distribution centers.”
Competition for consumer dollars are at peak levels this holiday season, and so is customer expectations. To achieve this, retailers must focus on providing seamless, cost-effective, omni-channel and customer-focused services with cutting edge technology.
From search, through website optimization, checkout, order processing, fulfillment, customer service and returns, no stone should be left unturned in delivering one-of-a-kind experience to shoppers this holiday season.
Do you own an online store, what are your plans for this holiday season?
Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter who also covers Tech and Social Media. When not writing, he’s thinking of writing or making music. He’s been featured in Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, GrowMap, Self Growth, among others.
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