The lead-up to the holidays and the New Year is the biggest time of year for retailers. The game is on and to win, retailers need to score big. Consumer shopping habits have changed rather significantly in the past decade however. More are flooding to online products and e-commerce to shop. To better understand where there’s opportunity to market and succeed in the 2017-2018 holiday season, here are three ways in which retailers are going to need to make a change.
Traditions in Holiday Shopping Patterns are out the Window
Holiday shopping in 2017 is not the same as holiday shopping in 2007 so don’t assume it will be. Many shoppers choose to research and begin purchasing even before Black Friday. As early as October, some companies are already seeing notable rises in purchasing likely related to the holidays. Consumer electronics is one area where this has happened these last few years.
That said, categories like toys and games are still holding strong according to traditional holiday shopping standards. As toys and games’ purchasing spikes are set closer to the final weekend prior to Christmas, other categories are seeing their inventory unload long before. Depending on what category a retailer is in, they may need to change when and how they plan out their holiday marketing strategy.
More Shoppers are Treating Themselves today than Ever Before
Approximately 20 percent of the average person’s total holiday shopping budget goes towards buying items for themselves. Retailers may take advantage of this by learning how to personalize their marketing, customizing call-to-action specifically for its customer base, and focusing marketing content on shoppers out to treat themselves.
Post-Christmas Day, traffic on product pages and e-commerce always see a huge boost from bargain hunters seeking post-holiday deals and individuals looking to spend gift cards. Retail categories seeing the biggest jumps in self-buying traffic include consumer electronics, beauty, and apparel and accessories.
Specific Products will be in High Demand this Season
There’s always going to be go-to categories that see big sales come the holidays i.e. consumer electronics, toys, and apparel. There are other areas that are continuing to see growth however and these are worth noting. Disposable kitchen products and other consumer packaged goods typically see spikes due to corporate setups and family gatherings. Beauty and personal care, influenced by self-gifting trends, also see some spikes prior to the holidays. Gifts related to pets are also seeing spikes, with more than fifty percent of households owning pets.
Times continue to Change for Retailers
As e-commerce grows, retail sales are certainly threatened. To make the most of every opportunity, retailers need to do three things – plan for an extended holiday shopping season; know when and where to deploy specific marketing strategies; and knowing the most effective way to reach consumers in specific product categories throughout the season.
Retailers that are able to adapt to the changes will see their sales hold strong and those that aren’t smart enough to adjust will continue to be threatened by online alternatives as well as offline competition.