Chicago—The “Holiday Creep” is on—and getting even more pronounced.
Over the past few years, ShopperTrak reports that there’s been an increase in the percentage of spending that occurs during the first 30 days of the season. In 9 of the last 13 years, November spending has increased relative to the entire season. ShopperTrak, a global provider of location-based analytics, is expecting 2014 to follow suit.
“The 10 year shift of holiday sales from December into November will be evident this year as well,” said ShopperTrak founder Bill Martin. “On October 14, Macy’s launched the first salvo of holiday promoting by announcing its stores will open earlier (6:00 pm vs. 8:00 pm) on Thanksgiving Day than in 2013. Expect this to lead to a flood of ‘me too’.”
Improved Conversion Rates
With pre-shopping available through technology 24 hours a day, retailers can expect a “ready to buy” shopper entering their store this holiday season.
“With over 90% of all commerce still taking place in brick and mortar stores, retailers must be prepared to deliver a good experience to the consumers who make it to their doorway. Well-prepared retailers will make an effort to improve the shopper to associate ratio to help consumers find and buy the items on their lists” said Martin.
According to NRF, holiday shopping accounted for 19.2% of annual sales in 2013, with an expected increase in sales in 2014. Retailers should understand that this increase is coupled with an expected 1.7% decrease in total holiday in-store traffic, therefore maximizing conversion is as important as ever, Martin added.
Location Based Technologies
With each passing year, shoppers are becoming more valuable on a per-visit basis. Retailers are working hard to build strategies that bring the retailer, the consumer and the brand into collaboration at the point of purchase. Martin expects this to be a major player in 2015 and beyond.
“Retailers will use 2015 to test a variety of engagement strategies to determine the right solutions to drive traffic, improve conversion rate and increase average ticket size.”