According to all early indicators, the 2015 holiday season will be a profitable one for businesses. How profitable you ask? According to one report, U.S. retails sales are projected to be $885.7 billion, an increase of 5.7 percent over 2014. So how can you take advantage of the projected increase? Humbolt Merchant Services has compiled a few things to think about as you go into the busiest time of the year.
First, be sure your mobile shopping experience is as good as your in-store one. If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar location, make your e-Commerce space the best in your town and/or industry. With smartphone visits to retail sites between Thanksgiving and Christmas increasing 51 percent over last year, you can see the importance of putting your best foot forward. If that number doesn’t make you want to have your website mobile-ready with responsive design, then maybe the projection of e-commerce revenues at $79.4 billion – an increase of 13.9 percent – will!
Keeping with the importance of being mobile friendly, the numbers below prove that the holidays have an effect on shopping habits that you might not think about. See how holiday and non-holiday times differ:
- From November to December, 36 percent of purchases were completed after consumers clicked on a company’s Facebook ad, compared to just 15 percent the rest of the year.
- Time of day does not seem to waver for the holiday season, with the highest percentage of purchases coming between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
- Weekend days are the busiest days for purchases during the holiday season, which is the complete opposite for the non-holiday times of the year.
Finding a good balance for owners with both a physical and e-commerce presence is also very important and beneficial to your bottom line. The research done by the consumer before they step foot into your store means they are both educated and motivated to buy — both good things, as long as you’re ready.
Now it’s on you and your staff to close the deal, be it incentivizing customers to purchase via in-store coupons, or through the use of in-store beacons. Beacons use Bluetooth technology to detect nearby smartphones and send everything from product information, to coupons. Reports say these beacons could influence $4.1 billion in in-store sales this calendar year alone.
So if you’re aiming to be an online sales star on Cyber Monday (the 1st Monday after Thanksgiving), Green Monday (typically the 2nd Monday in December) or getting ready for the rush on Black Friday, it’s good to be prepared as possible. Happy selling!