2018-11-01 06:00:59NewsEnglishhttps://quickbooks.intuit.com/blog/us_blog/uploads/2018/10/Xmas-Retail.jpeghttps://quickbooks.intuit.com/blog/news/what-to-expect-from-the-2018-holiday-season/What to Expect From the 2018 Holiday Season

What to Expect From the 2018 Holiday Season

3 min read

Small retailers are preparing for the most wonderful time of the year: the holiday shopping season. This year is projected to be particularly bright for retailers.

Consulting company PwC predicts that Americans will increase holiday spending by 5%, investing an average of $1,250 each. Men, high-earning Millennials, and Amazon Prime members are expected to be the biggest spenders. As consumer sentiment soars, holiday sales could exceed $1.1 trillion, according to Deloitte.

As you’re preparing for the upcoming holiday shopping season, here’s what you should know.

Consumers Intend to Shop in Stores

Even as e-commerce continues to grow, shoppers still like to hold and evaluate products in their hands before they buy. Nine out of 10 Americans plan to shop in brick-and-mortar stores this holiday season, according to PwC.

However, consumers also appreciate the ease of shopping online and via mobile. Three-quarters of consumers expect an integrated experience across physical and digital locations.

To accommodate shoppers’ preferences, many retailers are complementing their physical store with ecommerce capabilities. Contemplate how you can create a unique in-store shopping experience while making it easy for customers to buy online.

Millennials are Set to Spend Lavishly

If you’re not marketing to Millennials, a trillion-dollar demographic, you could miss out on a sizeable share of sales this holiday season. Millennials are expected to be the biggest spenders, according to Accenture, with nine out of 10 saying they plan to spend as much as or more than they did last year. High earners (those with a household income of $70,000 or more), will spend more than $2,000 each this season.

Small retailers can connect with this group by being open about their values and promoting what matters to them. Does your store support a local charity? Does your team regularly volunteer for a nonprofit? Are you vocal about certain issues? Millennials are drawn to brands that stand for something.

Shoppers Expect Deals All Season Long

If you want to capture consumer dollars, don’t limit your focus to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday. Instead, entice shoppers throughout the holiday season.

November is quickly transforming into what’s known as Black November as retailers offer steep sales and discounts all month long in advance of the holiday season.

Black Friday remains one of the year’s biggest shopping days, but it is losing some of its luster. Shoppers know they can get great deals without needing to face the crowds the day after Thanksgiving. In place of Black Friday, Black November emerges as a chance for retailers to offer incredible deals throughout the month.

Whenever you choose to unveil sales, shoppers are ready to spend. Last year, consumers spent a record $6.59 billion on Cyber Monday, making it the largest shopping day in U.S. history, according to Adobe Insights. Spending was up 16.8% from 2016, and mobile sales reached $2 billion over a 24-hour period for the first time.

In 2017, online sales from November 1-22 exceeded $30 billion. Black November is poised to be another solid month for sales this year, and smart retailers are preparing to roll out deals all month long.

More than anything else, shoppers want a fair price. According to PwC, 63% of consumers say that price motivates a purchase, compared to 39% who are motivated to buy based on free shipping. Think about ways your store can offer the most appealing sales, freebies, and deals this season.

You could also consider launching or revamping a rewards program. The average household maintains 23 different loyalty memberships, and 84% of U.S. adults are loyal to their favorite retailers, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.

Consumers will return to your store if you provide the best value and experience. The holiday season is an ideal time to offer special perks and gifts to your most loyal shoppers. Check out these tips to ensure you roll out a rewards program that makes sense for your store and customers.

Shine This Holiday Season

The holiday retail sales rush is coming. Whether you’re the new store on the block or you’ve been a neighborhood favorite for years, it helps to know what’s ahead so you can prepare for one of the busiest selling seasons of the year. All signs point to a robust holiday shopping season, so take time to provide customers with incredible values and exceptional experiences. By doing so, you’ll shine bright and make this holiday shopping season your best yet.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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