Find Out What’s In Store For The 2019 Holiday Shopping Season
October 24, 2019
‘Tis the season for small business to shine as the 2019 retail season gets rolling. Thanks to a continued strong economy, retail sales are predicted to rise between 4.5 and 5%, finds Deloitte’s annual holiday retail forecast—and that’s despite a holiday shopping season that’s six days shorter this year.
Wondering what else is in store for retailers during the “official” 26-day shopping cycle? Here are some 2019 holiday retail trends that will likely shape the season:
1. Holiday sales have already started.
Yes, we tout the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas as the most important part of the holiday season, but turns out that only one-quarter of shoppers wait until Black Friday or later to start their shopping, finds a survey from RetailMeNot. Fourteen percent shop for gifts all year long, while 20% say they start in September or earlier; 15% start in October; and 26% get serious in November—but before Thanksgiving. So if you think it’s too early to start decking your halls, the answer is no.
2. Online sales continue to grow.
Just when you thought that e-commerce had reached a peak, it is set to rise again, Deloitte finds—predicting sales to grow between 14 and 18%, an even larger jump than the 11% growth seen in 2018. The big winners are likely to be small retailers with both an online and physical presence. Try to make plans now to stand out from the pack with a solid social media presence and events or promotions that bring customers into your store after they find you online.
You can join in with your small business neighbors on Saturday, November 30, 2019, to create promotions or events that will make your area a must-visit destination for your customers eager to support their local community businesses. Why not get your small business prepared with an update to your marketing materials, signs and business cards.
4. Retailers are counting on promotions.
Consumers are still looking for a deal, and retailers plan to deliver. Three-quarters say they intend to offer more deals this holiday than last, with more than half attributing the discounting strategy to the shorter holiday shopping period.
Since small retailers might not have as much room to negotiate their prices, consider creating more of a “valued-add” promotion strategy, such as a discount on a second item or one that is complementary to the first to encourage larger total purchases. Free services like gift wrap or can add value without biting into your profits.
5. Hiring holiday help might be harder than ever.
Yes, shoppers are already shopping, and that means retailers are thinking about their staffing. If you need extra elves this year, the time to start looking is now. Some major retailers do extensive holiday hiring, and a holiday hiring survey from job site Indeed found that holiday job searches per million job seekers rose 11% in August 2019 compared with the previous year.
With unemployment hovering at historically low levels, your candidate pool might be smaller. However, retail sales positions can be appealing, given that many consumers are looking for side gigs to bolster their everyday paychecks, in an attempt to tackle existing debt or try to avoid amassing more. Flexible schedules, discounts and a fun work environment can all contribute to making retail jobs a great option for consumers hoping to start the new year with their budget on track.
As the important holiday season nears, now is the time for small businesses to understand how holiday retail trends will impact them so they can stay ahead of the game.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in small business, finance and real estate.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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