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.
Seeking senior leadership role with a company with a vision to grow, innovate, and create a sustainable value-proposition. www.davidkearsley.com