As retailers head into the thick of the holiday season, Deloitte has released its key predictions for the period ahead, noting consumer sentiment is positive, and convenience, good products and great deals will be high on their holiday wish list.
Here’s an insight into Deloitte’s latest findings and the six retail trends retailers need to know this holiday.
Strong consumer sentiment
After surveying over 4400 people across the US, Deloitte’s 2019 Holiday Retail Survey indicates retailers look set to enjoy a cheerful period ahead.
They tip retail sales will grow 4-4.5 per cent this year with e-commerce expected to increase 14-18 per cent over 2018.
They also note the average consumer will fork out $1496 per household over the holiday period.
Convenience, good products and deals
There will be three main drivers of purchasing habits in the coming weeks, with convenience, good products and great deals among shopper’s major priorities.
The report found:
- 76 per cent of shoppers would be looking for a good product
- 75 per cent would be focused on price
- 65 saw convenience as a key purchasing factor
Free delivery over fast delivery
With the consumer focused on convenience, fast shipping, free shipping and buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) are proving popular offerings.
But of those options, free shipping has emerged as the clear winner.
The report noted 85 per cent of consumers preferred free shipping over fast shipping and were willing to wait three days or more for delivery.
Meanwhile almost half of all consumers intended to use BOPIS in the coming weeks.
Online purchasing to increase
Online spending is tipped to continue outpacing spending instore in 2019, with 59 per cent of money spent over the period expected to be spent online, compared to 36 per cent in-store.
Meanwhile, two thirds of shoppers indicated they will research online and then purchase at least some gifts from a bricks and mortar outlet.
When it comes to the way that shoppers access online, smartphones will be the tool of choice, with 70 per cent of people indicating they will make a purchase with a smart phone, compared to 67 per cent in 2018, and just 59 per cent in 2017.
Inspiration will be found online
Aside from purchasing, consumers will also be seeking much of their gift inspiration online, with half of all shoppers undecided as to what they will buy when they begin holiday shopping.
As a result:
- 65 per cent will turn to online retailers
- 58 per cent will consult search engines
- 52 per cent will visit retail stores
- 40 per cent will visit retailer websites or apps
- 31 per cent will look at review or comparison sites
- 18 per cent will turn to social media
- 18 per cent will look at print media
- 12 per cent will peruse electronic media
- 5 per cent will consult virtual assistants
Shopping to peak early December
Contrary to other years where shopping has peaked in November, this year consumers are expecting to make many of their purchases in early December.
Deloitte notes the trend may be driven by the fact Thanksgiving falls unusually late in 2019, pushing Black Friday to November 29, and Cyber Monday to December 2.
Their research found:
- 35 per cent of consumers expected to purchase holiday season products prior to the end of October
- 44 per cent would purchase between November 1 and 15
- 64 per cent would purchase between November 16 and 30
- 69 per cent would be shopping between December 1 and 15
- 51 per cent would purchase items between December 16 and 31