Tis’ the Season for Online Shopping
Cyber Monday, Black Friday and Green Monday are almost here, as consumers and retailers gear up for the traditional holiday season of online shopping.
According to a holiday survey by Deloitte, the total 2016 holiday sales in the U.S. are expected to exceed $1 trillion. This year, the Internet continues to be a popular shopping destination for gifts, with 50 percent of consumers planning to shop online, matching planned in-store spending for the first time in ecommerce history.
“Online distribution and sales have turned the industry upside down,” says Lutz Walter, secretary general of the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (ETP). “Social networks, consumer review/feedback sites, purchase histories are already far superior to shop assistants and there is the high convenience of online/mobile shopping.”
While e-commerce is not new, it’s becoming a bigger industry, especially in apparel. Over the past few years, Amazon has pushed into the apparel industry by launching their own private-label clothing brands, and is projected to become the U.S.’s biggest clothing seller with a 30% growth in the next year. Consumers are still expected to visit a brick-and-mortar store, but online shopping will increase as people want to leverage both online and offline channels to find the best deals.
“Ringing in the Retail” – Deloitte University Press 2016 Holiday Survey
There’s no doubt that the use of mobile has also increased, and it’s set to grow even more. According to a Google report, 64% of smartphone shoppers turn to mobile search before heading to a store, and 76% of people searching for a local business will visit within the day, with 28% resulting in a purchase.
For retailers, online and mobile shopping can provide a wealth of data. Profiles and preferences are recognized through loyalty cards and programs, allowing consumers to be retargeted with similar products, discounts and ads.
With technology bringing shopping to the consumers anytime and anywhere, retailers cannot ignore that consumers choose to browse and buy both online and offline. Those who choose to embrace this blended channel experience will be the most successful in their holiday season sales.