An eMarketer forecast predicts that retail holiday sales will reach upwards of $885.70 billion in November and December alone—giving brands plenty of incentive to capitalize on this spending frenzy.
An improving labor market, higher home values, and lower gas prices lead business intelligence provider IBISWorld to believe that both consumer spending and confidence have grown from 2012 to 2015 at annualized rates of 2.5 and 13.3%, respectively. These factors, according to eMarketer, will help yield an estimated 5.7% increase from 2014 holiday retail sales.
Here, strategies retailers can implement to help further their own cause this holiday season.
Boosting e-commerce sales
According to research from the National Retail Federation, almost half (44%) of this year’s holiday shopping will take place online—with about half of these purchases being made via smartphones or tablets. In anticipation of this trend, retailers should boast highly intuitive e-com platforms that offer easy navigation and a wide variety of products.
Retailers that provide sub-par e-com platforms or apps risk losing millions of dollars in sales.
Managing warehousing and distribution centers
A top-notch e-com platform is just the first step. Etailers must also be able to quickly process and accurately ship the products purchased online. Efficient warehouses and distribution centers are key here; retail behemoths such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart intend to hire 100,000, 70,000, and 60,000 temporary workers, respectively, this holiday season.
For retailers operating on a smaller budget, outsourcing the distribution process to an order fulfillment service may be a better option.
Social media and digital ad campaigns
Retailers should also consider catering their advertising to current consumer trends. For instance, social media and digital ad campaigns are effective methods for reaching and engaging consumers. Research from Deloitte shows that 75% of customers are store- and brand-loyal shoppers, so retailers who engage consumers in social campaigns allow them to be a part of the brand—which creates a loyal fan base.