Retailers must have done something to get on Santa’s good list this year. Despite a rocky start to 2016, analysts are forecasting a stellar holiday season. Growth at retail is predicted to rise 3.3% over last year (up from an earlier prediction of 3.1%) and e-commerce is expected to increase more than 17%. At that rate, 2016 would see the highest jump in holiday season retail e-commerce since 2011, when the economy was just starting to rebound from the Great Recession.
M-Commerce Propels Growth
Mobile remains a powerful force for e-commerce growth. U.S. m-commerce will climb 43.2% in 2016, paced by a 78.3% jump in sales via smartphones. Strong mobile commerce growth in the fashion and luxury, health and beauty, sporting goods, mass merchant, and home categories are boosting m-commerce and likely to contribute significantly to holiday sales.
It’s Prime Time
Amazon is arguably the king of e-commerce and it doesn’t intend to give up its crown anytime soon. Amazon’s share of holiday e-comm is estimated to increase from 26% in 2015 to between 28-30% this year. Amazon Prime is a leading factor in this growth. With free, fast shipping, personalized product recommendations, and an endless supply of gift ideas in almost every imaginable category, Amazon is considered the first stop for holiday shopping by 63 million Prime members. Consider this: in a recent poll, U.S. consumers were asked where they started their holiday shopping when they didn’t have a specific gift in mind, 35% said they began their searches on Amazon. Only 23% said they began their research on search engines and 20% visited physical retailer stores.
A Shrinking Gap Between Online/Offline Shopping
2016 will see several trends that are shrinking the gap between e-commerce and physical retail. This season, retailers will begin to leverage better fulfilment options (buy in-store and ship to home, buy online and pick up in-store, etc…), as well as expanded use of local advertising tools such as Google Product Listing Ads, beacon technology, and improved targeting tools on social media to reach consumers at those critical moments during the shopping season.
Beyond the holidays, these are evergreen strategies that can help your brand reach a wider, more engaged audience throughout the year. Women’s Marketing offers a full suite of marketing and media services that reach your customer when and where she’s most receptive to your message. Contact us today to learn more!
Source: US Holiday Ecommerce Preview 2016: Mobile to Fuel Explosive Ecommerce Growth