Retailers are as merry as they can be about the pending holiday shopping madness, according to Adobe Holiday Retailer Survey, a new study by Adobe Analytics.
Of the brands surveyed, 66% expect their sales to top last year’s. But 33% do not foresee an increase, and 41% are concerned about the shorter season.
Worse, from a national news angle, 51% have had to increase prices of some products because of tariff costs. And 56% fear Amazon.
Those issues aside, the study identified a few major marketing trends.
One is that that email will be a critical tool — 73% use the channel to communicate with customers, second only to company websites, which are leveraged by 83%. Another 72% utilize social media, and 62% are sending holiday-specific marketing emails, texts or social posts.
Another key trend is the Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) service, which is growing in importance. It is offered by 55% overall, including 64% of those with sales of over $10 million and 42% of those that are lower.
Among the higher-tier firms, 48% say BOPIS provides a significant portion of their sales, And 45% of the smaller firms agree. Among international brands, 57% offer BOPIS, as do 62% of national firms and 59% of regional firms. Strangely, only 46% of local retailers provide the service.
Then there’s experiential shopping — i.e., mock showrooms/AR experiences that add to the shopping experience. The study shows that 56% are creating them.
Loyalty programs should also grow, given that 66% call them a benefit to their businesses.
Voice tech is another high-tech tool — 62% plan to use it to drive sales in the future, although 7% do so now.
But worries remain. The top concerns for those selling products online:
Competing on “perks” such as free shipping, and driving website traffic — 20%
Apart from sending holiday-specific emails and text, retailers are deploying the following to engage their customers during the Yuletide run-up:
Finally, despite the heated atmosphere that now prevails, 62% are keeping politics out of their advertising. But what about the other 38%?
Adobe Analytics surveyed 403 U.S. retailers with annual revenue of over $500,000.