Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday Retail Trends to Watch

With only 16 days before Black Friday and 39 days until Christmas, retailers are scrambling to capture what is expected to be modest consumer spending. As such, we’re seeing mobile marketing, extended hours for convenience, and the need for added value from retailers shape up as among the top holiday retailing trends.

The hype over Black Friday, November 25th, is already reaching a fever pitch. Within the last few days big retailers such as Macy’s, Kohl’s, and Target have announced they will open for the first time at midnight of Thanksgiving. While many retailers extend their hours on Black Friday, many will be open 24 hours on November 25th. And it is most likely additional retailers will follow along in the next few weeks. Retailers are also offering online deals on Thanksgiving Day even if their store locations are closed for the holiday. It is all due to several reports that holiday spending will be less than grand. The NRF, for example, expects total spending during the holiday period to rise 2.8%, down from 5.2% increase last year.

According to Mashable Business, the busy holiday season has more shoppers buying online than ever before. They calculated that about 66% of shoppers are shopping online. National Jeweler, meanwhile, projects at least 50% of people will use their mobile phones in some capacity for holiday shopping, even if it is just to check store hours.

Whether online or in store, a key to consumer sales this season will be adding value. About 93% of online retailers plan to offer free shipping during the holidays, and brands like Amazon and Walmart are offering price matching.


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