Holiday sales are expected to increase between 3.6 and 4 percent this holiday season.
With the holidays right around the corner, it’s important to stay updated on latest trends to keep your shoppers happy, especially with the expected sales increases during the upcoming holidays. The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects that holiday retail sales through November and December will increase, going from $655.8 billion in 2016 to between $678 billion and $682 billion. That’s an increase of between 3.6 and 4 percent compared to 2016.
Last year, there were 31 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and this year there will be 32 days, which means shoppers will get one more weekend day of buying this year. More shopping days and “strong consumer confidence,” as President and CEO of NRF Matthew Shay said, will be contributing factors to sales growth this year.
As previous year’s data shows, the sectors that usually rake in the most money during the holiday seasons are food and beverage stores at number one and electronic shopping and mail-order houses coming in at number two. Keep in mind, "electronic shopping and mail-order houses" is a subcategory of retail that includes Amazon, QVC, HSN and other non-store retail. Last year, electronic shopping made $110,270,000 just during the holidays – that’s 22.5% of their total annual sales. And the year before that, the sector made $97,764,000 in holiday sales. That’s an increase of over $12 million, and this year it is expected to go up yet again.
With more and more customers shopping online, retailers need to make sure they are ready for this holiday season and the sales increases that are expected. Ultimately, retailers must fulfill the needs of their customers more than ever. And even though online shoppers generally prefer free shipping over fast shipping, customers, and especially last-minute shoppers, expect that their orders are delivered by certain dates.
Retailers need to make sure they are giving their customers good shipping options and prices that deliver within the perfect time frame. But don't forget - it's important to make sure the returns process is easy for your customers as well. Here are some more tips to help you stay ahead of the holiday rush.
NRF will also be releasing spending data the day after Cyber Monday to provide a picture of consumer activity over that holiday weekend. Keep a look out for that on November 28th.