Commentary

Holiday Retail Breaks Records

Ross Patrick, digital marketing executive at Men’s Society, notes that merchants scramble all year to prepare for the November and December shopping feast. For personalized products from retailer Men’s Society, 70% of its annual sales hinge on this holiday period. 

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And, Richard Sejean, the retailer’s director of e-commerce, says even if sales are more spread out throughout the year, like at Browns Shoes Inc., where 33% of sales are holiday-related, the season is still a significant priority, says the report. 

And this year, according to Internet Retailer, online retailers can expect a record-breaking holiday sales season.  Internet Retailer estimates that U.S. shoppers will spend $119.99 billion with online retailers during the upcoming holiday shopping season of Nov. 1-Dec. 31. This is a 15.5% increase over last year, when online shoppers spent $103.88 billion online during the holiday period, 

Online holiday sales growth of 15.5% is in line with the overall U.S. e-commerce industry’s growth over the last six quarters. In fact, says the report, the 15.5% growth may be slightly conservative, as U.S. e-commerce sales grew 15.7% during the first half of 2018 year over year, according to U.S. Commerce Department figures. 

Part of the reason for such a strong forecast is that U.S. consumer confidence is at the highest level in 18 years. The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index, which is based on a survey that measures consumer sentiment on current economic conditions and prospects for the next six months, hit 133.4 in August. 

The data source comes from Internet Retailer projection, from Commerce Thought Leadership | A Report Commissioned by FedEx, presented by James Collier, Vice President US Sales, FedEx.Online sales are expected to represent about 15% of total retail sales during the November-December holiday period, according to Internet Retailer estimates. This is even more impressive as this is higher than e-commerce’s annual average penetration, which Internet Retailer estimates was 13% for all of 2017.

Finally, though it is likely too late for retailers to overhaul their inventory management system, or re-platform their e-commerce sites, there are still plenty of low-hanging fruits retailers can deploy to ensure a happy holiday season for their bottom line, concludes the report. 

 

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