Even with a holiday shopping season that has been calculated as more than a week shorter than past years, estimates point to record holiday revenue. That means more opportunities to grab your share of the sales. Here are some of the holiday shopping revenue predictions, along with what you can do to tap into them as a small business.
By the Numbers
According to eMarketer, 2019 U.S. holiday sales are set to break a record by surpassing $1 trillion in value this season. Cyber Monday is poised to become 2019’s biggest online shopping day with nearly $10 billion in sales. In-store holiday sales are estimated to grow by 2.5 percent to $872.3 billion, while e-commerce sales will rise by 13.2 percent to $135.4 billion.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), consumers will spend an average of $1,047.83 this holiday retail season on gifts and décor, which is 4 percent more than the 2018 season.
However, the holiday shopping season will be shorter and still plagued by the economic uncertainty that has started to pervade the overall environment. With a potential recession looming brought on by tariffs and other international issues, these spending forecasts may not hold true.
The NRF found 88 percent of younger consumers (ages 18-24) are significantly more likely to shop and particularly enjoy the social aspect over the Thanksgiving weekend, while 84 percent of those ages 25-34 also plan to face the stores and crowds. Their reasons for shopping that weekend include:
- Exceptional deals
- Yearly tradition
- Social activity
What this means for you: The higher sales provide an opportunity to raise your own revenues during this busy season. But, you must deliver the products and experiences holiday shoppers want. Whether it’s in-store or online, you’ll need to ensure you have enough products on-hand to address the higher sales forecasts, while setting a price that offers value for the savvy shopper.
You’ll also need to ensure your checkout experience is fast and flawless, so that means fine-tuning your shopping cart software or in-store POS system. This process also includes more delivery options, including local on-demand delivery, product transfer from other store locations, and mobile in-store payment options for shorter lines.
You can also win on experience with in-store events that feature entertainment, gift wrapping, complimentary drinks and snacks, and comfortable seating areas for shoppers to catch their breath.
Record-Breaking Mobile Holiday Shopping
According to a BounceX report, more consumers plan on shopping from their mobile devices compared to their desktop or laptop computers. This prediction was made based on previous years of research that show conversion rates on mobile have grown faster than any other device.
What this means for you: You have an incredible opportunity to tap into this mobile shopping preference by facilitating those holiday experiences with easy mobile checkout and multiple mobile payment options. It may also signal the need to make improvements to any existing app such as adding more language options, offering in-store pick-up, and personalizing offers for customers. You may also want to test the mobile responsiveness of your website.
Increasing Shopper Engagement and Retail Conversion Rates
The BounceX report also mentioned that average page views per visit on Black Friday have risen by 114 percent since 2015, while Cyber Monday page views per visit increased by 111 percent during the same period. As a result, so will retail conversion rates, rising nearly 23 percent for Black Friday and 36 percent for Cyber Monday this year.
What this means for you: There are many ways to engage with holiday shoppers, but it’s important to note the peak browsing time. For example, BounceX noted that Black Friday peak browsing occurs by 11:00 am and peak buying between noon and 9:00 pm. Plan your promotions to coincide with these browsing and shopping periods.
Holiday Fraud Advances
Criminals have been busy little fraudster elves with multiple ways to try and steal from consumers and in-store and online businesses. Fraudulent strategies include everything from card-skimming to package rerouting.
What this means for you: The last thing you want is to have your customers impacted by fraud, because they will blame your online operation or physical store for the financial losses. To help minimize fraud risk during this year’s holiday shopping season, use your payment processing partner’s address verification system and ship all orders with a tracking number. Use shipping companies you trust or handle your own local deliveries. Add other security tools that protect transaction data and verify identities, such as biometrics and machine learning-enabled software.