Break out the eggnog, hang your stockings by the chimney with care and tune up your website for peak ready performance – it’s holiday time! And according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), it’s going to be another good year.
Earlier this month, NRF conducted its annual Holiday Consumer Spending Survey which found that average spending per person will reach $805.65 this year, up slightly from the $802.45 it reported for the 2014 holiday season. Almost half (46 percent) of that shopping will be done online — up from last year’s 44 percent – so it’s time to get those digital commerce solutions ready for prime time.
So what else can we expect this holiday season? Read on for key takeaways and advice for retailers as they optimize their omnichannel solutions:
- Much more mobile. It’s no surprise that mobile shopping will continue to grow for the foreseeable future, but NRF’s data provides validation as we watch this trend grow before our eyes. This year, 21 percent of smartphone owners said they would use their device to make holiday purchases – the highest amount since NRF began asking about mobile purchases in 2011. Clearly, mobile-ready eCommerce sites are key for anyone who wants to compete in today’s retail environment.
- Free shipping reigns. Among those surveyed, 93 percent said they’ll use a free shipping offer while doing their holiday shopping online and nearly half (47 percent) said that free shipping would play an important role in their decisions about where to shop. This puts retailers in the tough position of trying to figure out whether the added revenue will balance out the added expense of offering “free” shipping. But there’s good news – the right eCommerce shipping strategies can offset operational or marketing costs, making the choice easier.
- Gifts aren’t the only game. More than half of shoppers (56 percent) say they’ll splurge on themselves and/or others for non-gift items. And they’re not thinking about small purchases either, with the average expense expected to be around $130. While the holiday seasons is driven primarily by gifting, retailers shouldn’t lose sight of the opportunities to market and merchandise to shoppers looking to treat themselves.
- Omnichannel Appeals. There’s no doubt that shoppers are fond of the flexibility that omnichannel solutions offer. Nearly half (47 percent) of the people who plan to do holiday shopping online said they will take advantage of the ability to buy online and pick up at, or ship to stores. The holidays are stressful enough for most people, and this is just one way retailers can improve relationships with their customers by making their lives easier.
Are you prepared for all the different ways consumers will be shopping during the upcoming holiday season? Check out additional survey results and other helpful information at nrf.com/resources/holiday-headquarters.