The home stretch of the 2017 holiday shopping season finds retailers busier than ever. Retail has changed rapidly in recent years, with big brand stores forced to make agile changes in strategy to hold their footing as eCommerce sales rapidly growing.
With each new holiday season, we see a consistent shift toward truly omnichannel experiences for stores and shoppers alike. There is consistent growth from all channels during the holiday shopping season, a trend that we also expect to continue.
But 2017 will also differ from previous years in a variety of ways, as big-box retailers and eCommerce companies jockey for position in a world that embraces a consistent experience online and off.
Let’s take a look at a few of the trends and predictions that we have for this holiday shopping season:
First Year to Break $100 Billion in Online Sales
2017 will be the first year that holiday sales topple the $100 billion market. Adobe Insights predicts that sales will reach $107.4 billion, representing a 13.8 percent increase year-over-year. The company also predicts a 3.8 percent growth in overall sales.
Nostalgia Wins Big in 2017 Christmas Toys
Nostalgia – a rising force in retail
Nostalgia is a rising force in advertising and retail. Toys lend themselves well to the nostalgia bandwagon, giving parents a frame of reference when shopping for toys for their kids. A number of popular toys from the 1980s and 1990s have been revamped for the newer generation including Nerf Guns, Teddy Ruxpin, and Super Nintendo Classic.
Children’s television channel Nickelodeon has announced a number of reboots of classic 80s and 90s kids shows, along with toy lines to go with them. With more manufacturers and developers looking to cash in on the nostalgia chain, this year’s holiday season will feature more recognizable retro toys than any other year.
Omnichannel is the New Normal
Seamless shopping experiences are the most sought-after trait that shoppers are looking for in holiday retailers. More than ever, shoppers participate in the research and shopping process through a wide variety of channels. In the U.K., more than 90 percent of shoppers have their first point of contact with a product through a channel that is not the channel they ultimately buy through.
Omnichannel experiences will play a bigger role in 2017 than they have in any other year, and big-box brands are finally providing experiences seamless enough to satisfy their customers.
Sales Surges Come Early
Each year, we’ve witnessed sales surges come both earlier and later than they ever have before. There are a few reasons for this. Early surges can likely be attributed to the ease of online shopping, a desire to avoid the holiday crowds in malls and shopping centers, and an increase in sales early in the month of November—attracting larger crowds.
Additionally, the late-December surges we see on the 20th or later can be attributed to the rise in free two-day shipping options through retailers like Amazon. In retail stores, late-season shopping surges have always been a regular occurrence, but have seen their own rises as procrastinating shoppers realize their online orders will not arrive in time.
Experiential Retail Makes a Triumphant Return
A visit from Santa?
With eCommerce sales booming during the holiday season, retail stores have accepted their situation — becoming more creative than ever before.
Retail has seen a renaissance in experiential shopping events, in an effort to attract shoppers to their locations instead of ordering online. Big brands are going the extra mile — and we don’t just mean setting up a mall-Santa outside of their location. Fun experiential marketing will play a big role in 2017 and continue to grow with each passing year.