Despite the holiday jingles you’ll hear this year, the weeks that surround the holiday shopping season aren’t all chestnuts and open fires for retailers. From November to December every year, retailers buckle down and make the most of the busiest shopping season, making as much as 30% of their annual sales in just a few weeks.
The past few years have brought dramatic shifts to how people are doing their holiday shopping. The frenzied midnight mall outings on Black Friday have turned into online hunts for the best deals. So what will Holiday 2017 bring for retailers? Here are a few of our predictions.
It’s 2006 Again
Christmas will fall on a Monday this year. The last time Christmas fell on a Monday was 2006 and the next time it will do so is in 2023.
In the world of retail, days matter. This year there will be 32 days between Thanksgiving and Christmas – one day longer than last year and three days longer than 2015. That means more earning opportunities for retailers.
That also makes Super Saturday, the biggest in-store shopping day of the year, almost as late in the season as it can be.
The fact that Christmas falls on a Monday also means that same day delivery will be big this year. Many shipping providers do not deliver on Saturday or Sundays – the last day for expensive overnight shipping is Thursday or Friday. Same day delivery and in store sales will be the only way to receive goods over the weekend before Christmas.
Mobile is the front door to the store
More than half of visits to shopping sites — 54% — will come from smartphones and tablets, surpassing desktop computers for the first time according to Adobe.
This reflects a fundamental shift in how people shop. Consumers now have the world’s inventory in their pocket. They are using their smartphones more and more to frequently and casually browse and purchase online, creating a shopping experience made up of mobile “micro moments”.
We began to see the effects of these “micro moments” last year, as online purchases increased 9% but average order value increased .2%, meaning shoppers are bought more often instead of increasing the size of the order. And while only a third of ecommerce purchases were on mobile in 2015, today’s larger phones and mobile-optimized sites are sure to aid mobile conversions.