Holiday shopping has seen some tectonic shifts over the past few years. Consumers are spending more money online, completing more purchases on mobile devices and would easily trade personal information for better deals.
The 2016 Holiday Season is shaping up to be a banner year, as 44% plan to spend more on their holiday shopping this year compared to last year, according to the 2016 Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey. More people (50%) expect to do the majority of their shopping online, compared to 43% who’ll do the majority of their shopping in-store.
Here are three trends retailers need to know as Black Friday approaches:
Like it or not, Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving. Despite a growing number of retailers closing physical stores on Thanksgiving (a response to backlash by employees and consumers), the holiday remains crucial day for e-commerce. In 2015, U.S. consumers spent a whopping $1.73 billion on Thanksgiving online and only 25% of shoppers believe that Thanksgiving should be spent with family versus holiday shopping. That figure was even lower for 18-24 year olds (just 17%).
Overall, 47% of shoppers are likely to shop on Thanksgiving day/night in 2016 and 72% plan to do so online (that’s up from 60% in 2015).
“The reality of the always-connected consumer is evidenced by the fact that Thanksgiving, traditionally considered family time, is now increasingly regarded as another opportunity to bargain-hunt,” said Standish. “With the majority of shoppers planning to do Thanksgiving Day shopping online, retailers may want to review online and offline strategies to engage consumers and drive sales.”
Mobile is growing. In 2015, U.S. online sales during Thanksgiving and Black Friday netted $4.45 billion, with “mobile devices — led by smartphones — accounting for a record $1.5 billion of that amount,” according to TechCrunch. During the 2016 holiday season, e-commerce sales are expected to climb 17.2% — the biggest increase since 2011, according to eMarketer. What’s fueling that growth? You guessed it: mobile. “Though making a purchase on a smartphone is still not as common as making one on a PC, millennials are helping to fuel smartphone mcommerce,” according to eMarketer.
Personalization is key to brand loyalty: On Black Friday, most customers are looking to snag the best deals, so brand loyalty has come under serious assault. People looking for a cheap flat screen TV don’t care where they buy it, they just care what it costs. But brands can fight that trend by creating personalized shopping experiences.
“Shoppers are open to sharing personal information and shopping preferences with retailers in order to receive personalized offers,” says Accenture. “54% of survey respondents said they are open to sharing personal information and shopping preferences with retailers in order to receive personalized offers, compared to 51% last year and 33% in 2014.”
What factors are most likely to entice shoppers to share personal data?
- 78%: Discounts or coupons (up from 72% last year)
- 52%: Loyalty card points
- 47%: Highly relevant promotions
“The clear opportunity for retailers is to learn all they can about their customers and use these insights to provide the personalized and timely deals consumers are seeking,” said Jill Standish, Senior Managing Director of Retail at Accenture. “By optimizing inventory and marketing, they can increase the profitability of each customer visit to their store or website and maximize each click.”
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