It was just two years ago in 2016, that headlines everywhere were talking about the demise of retail, but this year at the annual National Retail Federation 2019: Retail Big Show, which opened on Sunday, January 13th, NRF Chairman Christopher Baldwin, chairman, president and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club stating what we all know to be the more accurate truth, “retail never went away”, and that today the “industry is more healthy, vibrant, innovative and exciting than ever.”
With the holiday season fast approaching, are you prepared for the biggest holiday season in more than a decade?
eMarketer predicts that the 2018 holiday season will be even bigger than the last given that according to some measures, consumer confidence in the US is at its highest level since 2000. With more money to spend due to rising wages, tax reform, and low unemployment, you should be doubling down on your efforts to deliver on the customer demands of seamless, shopping experiences.
Digital is without a doubt the growth driver in the retail industry as a whole. Merchants seeking validation for investments in online and mobile offerings need look no further than the recent holiday season: Cyber Monday alone generated more than $6.5 billion in sales, more than $2 billion of which were transacted via mobile devices.
Black Friday is four months (and some change) away and retailers who have not yet turned their attention to peak spending season should do so now.
While it is not the time for major redesigns or replatforming, there is ample time to shore up security, optimize forms, consider alternative payment methods, cater to customers’ expectations and set up shipping options.
The next generation of people (those born between 1995 and 2010, who account for 27% of the world population) is starting to enter the workforce and has spending power. They are less inclined to trust companies and brands, expect to be heard and involved and are quick to switch preferences to brands that offer authentic and transparent experiences. Selling via social media is a potentially revolutionary way to access this fragmented demographic of young, engaged buyers – but how and where should retailers start?