What Will This Holiday Season Look Like?

John Krautzel
Posted by in Retail

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday being a thing of the past, retailers are gearing up for a holiday season that is expected to experience a 3.5 percent spending surge in 2016, according to Dan Kline, a contributor with Fool.com. This boost in retail shopping is directly related to the increase of mobile retail shoppers. Learn how the changing landscape of retail is predicted to impact this year's seasonal sales.

Revamping Inventory Maintenance

A newer trend enhancing sales for retailers while minimizing shipping and overhead costs is the order online and pick up in-store practice, which makes shopping more convenient during the holiday season rush. This win-win situation benefits customers seeking to quickly pick up hard-to-find items. This new approach to inventory maintenance is also predicted to benefit retailers. When consumers pick up previously ordered items online, the retailer's shipping costs are non-existent, and the increasing presence of customers in the store for retail shopping during the holiday season can boost sales.

Catering to Holiday Crowds

Mass-merchandise retailers willing to stay open for extend hours during the holiday season are more likely to experience increased sales. According to Kline, customer loyalty is at an all-time low, as it is easier than ever for shoppers to hunt around online for the best deals. Unless the retailer is offering a specific niche product line, they must come up with a plan to continuously bring customers in the door. Stores that close late each day or stay open for 24 hours are more likely to gain loyal customers and experience an increase in foot traffic and sales.

Moving Past Black Friday

Although Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year, Kline noticed a decline in foot traffic at many retail stores. Online retailers offering free or discounted shipping have made it convenient for shoppers to purchase gifts from the comfort of their home or directly from their mobile phones. Companies running specials that last beyond Cyber Monday week are likely to experience a boost in sales. In addition, e-newsletters and in-app mobile notifications featuring bonus deals for consumers can also ramp up sales.

Anticipating Fourth-Quarter Sales

For many retailers, fourth-quarter sales make up a bulk of their annual revenue. Macy's generates approximately one-third of its annual sales from November through February. Target expects to earn 29 percent of its revenue during the fourth quarter, and Best Buy banks on one-third of its sales coming from the holiday season shopping. Amazon, according to Kline, anticipates generating 80 percent of its profits during the fourth quarter.

It is no secret that fourth-quarter earnings are crucial for retailers. Outlets willing to cater to online shoppers and market their discounts beyond the Black Friday rush are likely to see a surge in their 2016 holiday season traffic.

Photo Courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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