Christmas Sales Set To Soar In 2017
Research shows merchants should be preparing for a profitable Christmas sales season. A recent report from Deloitte predicts a 4 to 4.5% rise in Black Friday and Christmas sales this year, which could bring over $1trillion to the economy at the end of 2017. Digital sales will represent the biggest increase, says the report, with forecasts pointing to a rise of 21%, representing a boost of $114 billion on top of the usual seasonal sales figures.
Aside from economically favourable circumstances, Deloitte believes the growth in sales, particularly in digital, is happening because of good retail tactics such as seasonal promotions and highly competitive platforms. Experts say that merchants are becoming increasingly aware of their customers’ preferences and are targeting them more efficiently. Niche markets are also in expansion, showing that customers are often looking for personal shopping experiences instead of simply purchasing a product online.
“Retailers should modify their assumptions about what drives traffic, engagement and holiday sales growth, and realign around customer experience, creating relevant, emotional and inspirational connections that go beyond just product, price and assortment,” said Deloitte Vice Chairman Rod Sides.
Retailers are also advised to pay attention to shoppers on Black Friday, which is becoming more and more popular among British shoppers. Last year, Black Friday sales grew by a double-digit figure in the UK.
As for businesses that have been in the market for longer, experts emphasize the importance of retailers creating an ‘omnichannel’ experience to generate revenue, which means that high street shops need to embrace online platforms to expand their market. In the UK, 90% of ‘omni shoppers’ say they see a product online but buy it in-store, or have checked it in store but ended up purchasing it online. Many shops work with omnichannel marketing campaigns such as exclusive online sales, or areas designated to outlet products.
It is crucial that merchants are aware of the risks in offering online sales. Online payment fraud is on the rise and security measures are important, for retailers and shoppers alike.