With the holiday season just ended, both manufacturers and retailers have one question in mind: what was the best strategy to win in this key shopping period?
This year more than ever, the winning recipe was to focus disproportionately on driving e-Commerce sales. Winning the holidays is often a determining factor of the success of the total year across most categories. Many retailers make up to 30% of their annual revenue between October and December, and for some categories such as fragrances, it is up to 50%.
Moreover, during the 2017 holiday season, US retail e-commerce sales were expected to reach new highs. Online sales were projected to increase by 16.6% compared to 2016, and represented a record high of nearly 11.5% of total retail sales.1 The boost during the holiday period didn’t affect only gifting categories. Gifts only represented one third of average holiday spend, with the bulk of shopper budgets going to non-gift items and experiences. 2
The Holiday period represents a special opportunity to influence shoppers’ habits and get them to buy online.
In fact, during this period, shoppers are more willing to buy online for its convenience even though they are not necessarily used to it. In 2016, 41% of the US consumers completed all of or the majority of their holiday shopping online, with 46% now preferring to shop online via desktop, mobile or voice ordering. 3 And these changes in shopper habits primarily benefit Amazon. According to CNBC’s “All-America Economic Survey”, nearly three-quarters of US online consumers were planning on doing a majority of their holiday shopping via Amazon 4. This is a global trend affecting all markets.
To benefit from this growing trend of online sales during the holidays, brands should be highly visible on Retailers’ eCommerce platforms.
Due to the omnichannel shopping journey and the scattered media audience, building effective communication plans today is much more complex than it was a decade ago. Furthermore, the role of eCommerce platforms to drive brand and product awareness has become much more significant. In 2016, Amazon became the preferred place to search for product information, ahead of Google 5. The brands that invest in Retail Digital Media and who know how to activate these tools effectively can ensure high visibility of their brands where shoppers are, and thus are able to gain a sustainable competitive edge.
With eRetailing undergoing significant changes powered by technology and shopper changing preferences and behavior, Retail Digital Media has become a game changer to win the holiday season.
Author: Alexia André, Niloo Farmand
1. Statista, Annual holiday season retail e-commerce sales growth in the United States from 2010 to 2017.
2. Deloitte, 2017 holiday survey, retail in transition.
3. The Future of Retail 2017 Holiday Report, walkersands.
4. eMarketer Data feed, December 22, 2017.
5. Bloomreach study – US, September 2016.