Holiday purchases will be dominated by e-commerce
Deloitte’s annual retail holiday sales forecast predicts that the digital channels will influence 64% of holiday purchases, which is up from 50% a year ago. A total retail sales growth from $961 to $965 billion is expected, which equals an increase of 3.5-4%. Digital interactions will help fuel the growth and influence 64% or $434 billion, of retail store sales this holiday season. The research by Deloitte has also shown that customers are spreading their purchases across more of the calendar year. When for example Amazon introduces its Prime Day, many customers take the opportunity to make already some of their holiday purchases.
Channels are no longer clearly defined
The clear distinction between channels is no longer present. There is no longer the idea of having concrete channels. A consumer might buy online and pick up in store or purchase in store and ship to home. Consumers will go online a lot more this holiday season to research purchases and increase an estimated 8.5-9% during the holiday period. Deloitte’s research finds about 80% of shoppers say they engage with a retailer or brand through digital channels before going to a store. Research by Forrester has shown that digital touch points will influence over half of all European Retail Sales by 2020.
Deloitte is expecting a rather modest holiday season this year, since personal disposable income was flat in the first part of the year. Last year total retail sales grew 5.2% during November through January to a seasonally adjusted $928 billion, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. Nevertheless the holiday season accounts for around 20% of the retail industry’s annual sales and accounts for as much as 30% of an individual’s retailer’s total sales. Since customers tend to spread their holiday purchases over more of the year and the possibilities to shop have amplified by means of e-commerce there is no longer a classical holiday shopping season anymore.