Holiday Retail eCommerce Prediction Round Up

Posted by Taylor Haney on Thu, Nov 20, 2014

We are close to wrapping up our eCommerce theme this month, but first there are a few more posts we have to share with you! In this post Kate Putnam, Development Manager at Blueport Commerce makes a few predictions about eCommerce during this upcoming holiday season.

Kate PutnamAs a Business Development Manager for Blueport Commerce, Kate manages several areas for corporate growth, including sales, corporate communications and partnerships. In all of her efforts, she endeavors to strengthen the company’s success as the omnichannel solution for the $78 billion furniture industry. These days, you can find Kate busy planning a marketing and sales strategy for 2015 while writing blog posts and spreading the Blueport story to prospective investors, clients and recruits. She often shares chair space with her Vizsla, Ramsay, who is a regular visitor to the dog-friendly Blueport office. Kate is on the board and heads up the marketing of the local Boston non-profit organization, Spero, Inc.

On the heels of the MITX Data & Analytics Summit last week, the world of data is ever-changing and the tools to tackle it are numerous. As Blueport Commerce enters its peak-omnichannel commerce season with its large furniture retail clients and, analyzing data and predictions become important as we help bring in some of the best in online sales all year. Like us, you’ve probably read the countless reports and data out there on holiday retail predictions and how retailers are poised to succeed. I’ve compiled three of these predictions most relevant to our business.

Prediction 1: Shoppers Are Looking to Shop Online More Than Ever

Deloitte anticipates total holiday sales will increase from 4 to 4.5% this year compared to 2013 with online sales and mail order purchases increasing at least 13.5% over last year. Not surprisingly, NRF and predict that 56% of shoppers are expecting to do at least part of their holiday shopping online this year.

Factors supporting this prediction include macroeconomic trends surrounding housing and the job market, and the fact that gas prices are at extraordinary lows, leaving consumers with more cash in their pockets. Coupled with an increased comfort level with shopping online, we expect a perfect storm for increased furniture sales online this holiday season.

Prediction 2: Mobile Commerce Takes Center Stage

75% of consumers will use their mobile devices for holiday shopping this year. Shoppers will primarily be looking for deals, price comparison and research, followed by access to coupons and finding stores. 85% of these consumers plan on buying directly from the device. Additionally, Adobe predicts that 31% of online sales will be generated via smartphones and tablets, up from 21% in 2013. An IBM study reports that more than half of Thanksgiving online traffic will come from mobile devices. This collective data marks a pendulum swing in shopper behavior when it comes to mobile. And we expect to see trends in m-commerce continue to increase beyond peak season.

Prediction 3: Thanksgiving Expected to Claim Its Stake in the Holiday Sales Race

This year, Adobe is predicting that Thanksgiving is going to be a bigger online shopping day than last year in the United States. In addition to positive predictions for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Adobe predicts that on Thanksgiving Day:

  • prices will be their lowest 

  • sales will reach a record $1.35 billion, representing a 27% YoY growth

  • shopping behavior will peak on Thanksgiving evening (and Cyber Monday)

Fear not our neighbors to the north; historically, Boxing Day remains a big day for Canadian retail sales in addition to Cyber Monday.

No matter the amount of data out there surrounding increased holiday sales, retailers can be confident that consumer spending will be up this holiday season. To capture this opportunity, retailers will need to focus on preparing their sites for the holidays and relying on predictive, well-timed marketing as well as omnichannel alignment to drive sales. And, while it may be late in the game to enable full responsive design on retail sites, retailers should at the very least be aware of how sites render on various mobile devices, and determine what tweaks can be made to optimize the existing experience for a more ideal shopping experience.