It’s only been September for a couple of days now, but its time to start thinking about Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls and that jolly guy in the fur-trimmed red suit. Horror tales of a poor economy might have you worried about a horrendous Grinch-mas, but the analysts over at eMarketer say this holiday season will be merry and bright (ish.)
Take a look at the numbers from the MasterCard Advisors’ “SpendingPulse” report. That’s an average retail sales growth of 14% over the same time last year.
The news gets better for online retailers, as experts say more people than ever will be using a virtual shopping cart instead of the metal kind this holiday season.
Jeffrey Grau, eMarketer principal analyst says;
“Price-conscious consumers will shift more of their gift spending from stores to the internet in order to take advantage of web features that make it easy to compare prices and find good deals.”
So, in a weird way, the poor economy is actually going to favor online sellers.
Grau adds that things will likely fluctuate as we move through the last quarter and retailers should be prepared to change their strategy to go with the tide. Coupons and discounts will certainly help send customers your way, but a clever or personalized marketing campaign can do the same.
Sure, customers are looking for good deals, coupons and free shipping. But if you hand them a mobile app that suggests gifts based on sex, age and interests, they’ll pay a little more because you did the hard work for them.
One last reminder. Ask you customers what you can do to help them out this holiday season and do what you can to honor their requests. Personalized service is how your small business can compete with the big box stores during this holiday season.