It’s almost hard to remember the last time there wasn’t a significant year-over-year increases in online holiday sales. In keeping with holiday tradition, we’re going to see records fall again this year, but with one major milestone to boot.

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According to Deloitte’s 31st Annual Holiday Survey on consumer spending intentions and trends, this will be the first year ever where holiday spending will be split evenly between online and in-store. That’s right, consumers this year say that they’ll spend about half their budget in stores, and the other half online.

“…this will be the first year ever where holiday spending will be split evenly between online and in-store.”

This is a big tipping point in the growth of online holiday sales. This year for Christmas dinner at the Retail Family household, “online” no longer has to sit at the kids table – it’s all grown up and equal to “in-store.”

But it doesn’t stop there – online shopping continues to exert its influence on the overall retail picture. When shoppers do decide that they are going to shop in-store, online research is a big part of the path to purchase. This year, 86 percent of people say that they’ll do some form of online research before shopping in a store.

The big takeaway for etailers, or those charged with online performance at multichannel retailers, is that your site could see more traffic than it’s ever seen before. Now is the time to prepare for the biggest holiday party you’ve ever thrown online and make sure that your site is tuned for peak ready performance.

You don’t want to experience a brown-out this holiday season like Clark W. Griswold’s unfortunate suburban Chicago neighbors in Christmas Vacation. It’s important to plan now for anything that this holiday season might throw at you.