Retail Trends for this Holiday Season

Michelle Philippon - Business Development Specialist

With all the changes in the B2C consumer buying process, increased mobility, and more personalized, interactive marketing campaigns, the retail world has changed dramatically in a way that’s positive not only for consumers, but for businesses as well.

Through their second annual Retail Holiday Planning Playbook, the National Retail Federation (NRF) provides some glimpses and insights into what the 2016 holiday season will look like for the retail industry.

1) Holiday sales are expected to grow.

NRF reports that 60% of surveyed millennials “love” shopping, retailers saw a 3% increase in holiday sales in 2015, and 68% of retailers experienced the highest sales revenue on Black Friday.

2) Mobility is the key to customer engagement and outreach.

NRF found that holiday searches and purchases were done more by smartphones than on traditional desktops.  For example, for about six days, holiday traffic was done more on smartphones than other mediums.

Mobility has also changed the way retailers reach consumers.  Customers can now use a “buy” button on social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram.  SnapChat is becoming a popular way for consumers to take holiday selfies and build brand loyalty.

3) In-store technology = better customer service and satisfaction.

The holiday season is a busy season, so consumers want to check out as quickly as possible.  63% of consumers reported that this was important to them in the 2015 holiday season.  Through new in-store technology, retail associates can easily find items online or in another store.  Retailers are also focusing on enriching customer experiences, using tactics like interactive fitting rooms and smart shelves.

Consumers also love how they can purchase items using mobile and other payment options like Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

4) Online shopping and free shipping have become extremely important.

Online shopping, of course, is on the rise; in fact, this past year, more than 50% of consumers bought more products online than before.

Per 47% of consumers, free shipping was also one of the most important aspects of the 2015 holiday season.  What is also becoming popular is Buy Online Pick Up in Store (BOPUS) and Buy Online Return in Store—something that is driving more traffic to retailers.

So where you’re a consumer, a retailer, or count retailers as part of your B2B customer base, good things are coming this holiday season—and let’s get shopping!

Questions or comments? Please contact Michelle Philippon at