The 2017 holiday season is shaping up to possibly be a real winner for retail in North America. Consider the much-improved economic climate, stellar stock market performance, low unemployment, and favorable consumer confidence sets a pretty good stage. The battle-lines of where and how the consumer will choose to make holiday purchases is most intriguing. I believe this holiday season will begin to etch a meaningful shift in what retail will look like for years to come.
2017 Holiday Expectations
Predictions, expectations and estimates are all to the upside vs. last year according to numerous organizations that track this information.
Generally, there is a consensus that holiday sales (excluding travel and event purchases) will increase in the range of 3.6 to 4.5%. That is particularly good news, as the last couple of year’s growth has been quite dismal.
That is the broad swath of retail market predications. And that should bode well for all. A rising tide lifts all boats, as the saying goes.
Not surprising, growth in e-commerce retail sales for the coming holiday season are estimated to be somewhere between 11 and 21% (2016 online sales grew roughly 14% over prior year). I am in the camp of closer to the 20% growth for 2017.
Where there is momentum, there is growth.
The e-Play of e-Commerce
The digital era is in full swing and promises to only gain in momentum. Amazon is certainly the bell-weather for online shopping and the e-commerce segment in retail. It will be the focus of the overall direction of e-commerce as we step into the holiday season.
Consider some of the market analysis published by Fung Global Retail and Technology –
At the root, convenience and ease remain the two most significant advantages of e-commerce shopping. The advancements in smartphones, wearables and other wireless technology will keep us constantly connected. That brings the essence of convenience and ease within a fingers touch. In fact; 40% of holiday purchases this year will be made on mobile apps. That is nearly double from 2016. The next evolution (and coming quickly) will be the technology of the truly “connected” Smart Home, that will go beyond the Google Home, Apple HomePod and Amazon’s Echo devices we know today.
Brick and Mortar Retail Play
It is important to keep in mind; the e-commerce segment includes the online sales of traditional brick-and-mortar retailers too. There are exciting initiatives underway.
There are many very well managed retailers, and although playing catch-up, great strides are being made for developing the integration of online into their operational platform.
The baseline advantages for traditional retailers are quite clear.
I am excited for what will come from the traditional retail sector for true deployment of an integrated, omni-channel build out. The power of what a seamless consumer purchasing platform of the physical store and online experience. The true merging of the personal touch, convenience and ease. Here are just a few things that will shape the next advances in retail as we know it.
Business leader and continuous learner in consumer durable products sold through various partner channels; retail, capital goods, infrastructure product.
Recent life relocation to Denver, CO. Seeking senior leadership role with a company with a vision to grow, innovate, and create a sustainable value-proposition. www.davidkearsley.com
Some strange things have happened since Amazon announced the acquisition of Whole Foods in June. In my opinion, it opened the idea that Amazon will rule the retail world. Initially, grocers took the market valuation hit, but soon spread to other retail segments.
Really? Is the traditional retail fear of Amazon really warranted? I believe the answer is both MAYBE and MAYBE NOT.
The retail landscape has, is changing, and will continue to change. And it should be changing. From a macro view; The Home Depot was the game-changer in the hardware / building materials segment, Walmart redefined mass retail, Best Buy created the mecca for the consumer electronics experience, and Costco created the retail membership venue. And without a doubt, Amazon is bringing a new dynamic force to retail.
Is Amazon the reason for the reshuffling of the retail environment? Not entirely. Keep in mind Amazon is only 5% of retail sales (that is excluding food products). Has Amazon created or filled a void to meet consumer shifts in buying habits? Certainly yes. At the same time, there are numerous brick & mortar retailers making a big impact on meeting consumer demand through emerging and developing meaningful, high impact strategies.
With approximately 70% of the United States GDP being consumer driven and retail being a significant part of that number, brick and mortar retail will survive and thrive. But will rely on the strong and nimble retailer.
I personally believe this is a “golden age” for retail and those of us marketing consumer goods. For the record, this is not a suggestion to shun digital or web-based retail. In fact; just the opposite - it will grow and is / will be a formable platform connecting with the end-user of our goods and services. This is a simple, straight-forward way that we should be supporting brick and mortar retail.
In conclusion, traditional retail is not dead. In fact; very much alive and the opportunity to leverage products and services has never been greater. Retailers do not have all the product & merchandising answers. They look to seasoned, mindful, experienced marketers to bring solutions to complex challenges. The ultimate WIN-WIN outcome is at hand.
Business leader and continuous learner in consumer durable products sold through various partner channels; retail, capital goods, infrastructure product lines.
Recent life relocation to Denver, CO. Seeking senior leadership role with a company to champion growth and innovation for creating sustainable enterprise value. My Website | My Blog