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Holiday Shopping Trends Review: 5 Factors to Watch in 2014

Posted by admin on 12/5/13 10:00 PM
Topics: holidays, college retail, showrooming, eCommerce

As soon as the Halloween goods were swept off of department store floors, holiday decorations moved in to take their place. Nielson’s annual holiday shopping forecast predicts that American consumers will spend just two percent more than in 2012, reflecting cautious optimism about the economy. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday shoppers will drop $602 billion during the 2013 holiday season.

shopping cart and business graphRetailers Are Wary of a Shorter Shopping Season

With Thanksgiving Day falling on November 28th this year, six days later than last year. This left just 27 days between Black Friday and Christmas Day, which already represents a relatively restricted shopping season that translates to millions in lost sales. As a result, retailers are will continue to push holiday deals earlier than ever. Future consumers should keep an eye out for mid-November sales and dramatically slashed prices throughout next year's shopping season.

Black Friday May Continue to Move Earlier

This year, 89 million shoppers braved crowded stores to get fantastic Black Friday deals, according to the National Retail Federation. However, the rise of Cyber Monday continues to threaten to cut those in-store holiday shopping numbers. According to a consumer survey by Deloitte, 45 percent of respondents indicate that Black Friday simply isn’t as important as it used to be. To combat this trend, retailers continue to roll out the Black Friday deals earlier and earlier each year. Both WalMart and KMart have announced that they will begin their Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving morning within the future.

Showrooming is a Growing Trend

It’s a common strategy for savvy consumers: head to big box stores to test drive a few digital cameras, and then return home to get better prices online. In an abrupt about-face from its previous position, Best Buy has embraced the showrooming trend. According to MarketWatch, the retailer began running ads promoting itself as “the ultimate holiday showroom." By implementing a price matching program and boosting customer service efforts, Best Buy hopes to convert “showrooming” customers into actual buyers. Market analysts expect the showrooming trend will be big for 2014, reflecting consumer desire to try out a product in-person before buying online.

Cyber Monday Deals for All

A few years ago, Cyber Monday was the purview of and other online retailers. Now, nearly everyone is trying to get in the game. Knowing that in-person sales may continue to dwindle, department stores have jumped on the Cyber Monday bandwagon. For example, Macy's is promoting major discounts on kitchen appliances, furniture, and other home goods. With many stores offering free shipping incentives, Cyber Monday deals from major retailers make an attractive alternative to braving the Black Friday crowds.

All Mobile, All the Time

A study by Google suggests that 41 percent of American adults and 76 percent of smartphone owners intend to use a mobile device for holiday shopping. As a result, retailers are investing considerable time and effort into mobile-friendly platforms for viewing deals; consumers should expect this to increase next year. They also continue to reach out via social media, using Twitter, Facebook, Vine, and Instagram to appeal to mobile users. To get great deals at a favorite store, “Like” the store’s Facebook page or “Follow” them on Twitter to obtain exclusive social media deals.

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