“Concerns over omicron could shift spending away from experiences, retail trade group says” by Melissa Repko via CNBC

“Concerns over omicron could shift spending away from experiences, retail trade group says” by Melissa Repko via CNBC

A person with a hand full of shopping bags walks by as Black Friday sales begin at The Outlet Shoppes of the Bluegrass in Simpsonville, Kentucky, November 26, 2021.Jon Cherry | Reuters KEY POINTS National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay said Tuesday that the new coronavirus variant could direct more dollars toward electronics, toys, apparel and other items instead of vacations and movie tickets.News of the omicron strain came during a key time for holiday shopping.The trade group reiterated its forecast of between $843.4 billion and $859 billion of sales in November and December, which would represent an all-time high in holiday spending. As Americans bought gifts during the peak Thanksgiving shopping weekend, the discovery of the omicron variant made headlines and prompted action by public health officials. National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay said Tuesday that the coronavirus strain could shake up spending patterns this holiday season and direct more dollars toward electronics, toys, apparel and other items instead of vacations and movie tickets. “We know, unfortunately, that when the variants have had a real impact on the economy, the goods side of the economy has actually benefited from that because people change behavior away from the experience side of the economy and spend more time and more dollars engaged in the goods side of the economy,” he said on a call with reporters. Holiday sales are expected to grow to an all-time high of between $843.4 billion and $859 billion of sales in November and December, which represents growth of 8.5% to 10.5% this year, according to the National Retail Federation. The trade group reiterated its rosy forecast for the holiday season on...
“How To Use Email Marketing To Increase Retail Sales In December” by Bob Phibbs (the Retail Doctor)

“How To Use Email Marketing To Increase Retail Sales In December” by Bob Phibbs (the Retail Doctor)

Are you looking for how to use email marketing in December to lure holiday shoppers back to your store again and again? You’ve come to the right place for ideas. Customers are out there shopping for a once-in-a-generation spending spree, but how focused are you on reminding your shoppers that they should buy from you? At this busy time of year, you have to frequently send email blasts to your loyal customers. You have to say, “We have this product in stock right now and you can take it home today!” One of the most obvious ways to market your message to your retail customers is to use those services that don’t cost you anything, especially email and social media. And yes, email marketing opens are on the decline but still the best way to reach shoppers who have purchased from you. We often forget how necessary reinforcement is to your audience of consumers who like and prefer your store over Amazon, but who still shop with competitors because you let them forget you exist. And a lot of that comes from other retailers and email marketers building brand awareness while you take your own for granted. The more impressions you can consistently make with your fans at this time of the year, the more they will remember they like your retail shop, reinforcing their beliefs about why they chose your brand in the first place. And that can’t be another message your email recipients received jammed with too many products, too many discounts, and too many images. Keep it simple with one idea. Good emails update your customers’ email boxes...
“HALF OF HOLIDAY GIFT SPENDING WILL BE SPENT ON GIFT CARDS” via Industry Resource

“HALF OF HOLIDAY GIFT SPENDING WILL BE SPENT ON GIFT CARDS” via Industry Resource

People around the world plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, and more of that spending is targeted at gift cards according to the 2021 Global Holiday Shopping Forecast released by global branded payments provider Blackhawk Network. The report found that almost 45% of holiday spending this year among respondents across ten countries around the world will go to gift cards—a 27% increase over last year. Because of the ease of giving a gift card and the growing concern over slower delivery times and global inventory issues, even more people have embraced gift cards and are eager to give and receive them. “This year more than ever, consumers’ holiday shopping plans will differ from country to country. As pandemic hotspots shift around the world, some people will have relatively familiar holiday shopping experiences while others will continue to keep their distance,” said Theresa McEndree, global head of marketing & corporate brand, Blackhawk Network. “This holiday season is going to be uniquely unpredictable for retailers and consumers alike. However, according to our research, one trend that looks to remain consistent across the globe is using gift cards as a universal gifting language. Merchants and shoppers need to be prepared to react and adapt to this year’s challenges and gift cards offer the unique flexibility to do just that.” Blackhawk Network’s Holiday Forecast examined global attitudes and behaviors around holiday gifting, eCommerce trends and shopper outlook across ten target countries. The following trends have been identified and look to fuel growth for the 2021 holiday shopping season: Holiday shoppers’ love for gift cards is universal Last holiday, as consumers looked for convenient,...
“6 Essential Strategies to Make Your Holiday Creative Stand Out” by Polly Wong via Total Retail

“6 Essential Strategies to Make Your Holiday Creative Stand Out” by Polly Wong via Total Retail

In case you missed it, the holidays are in full swing. Media outlets have started reporting on the top toys for the season, Amazon.com is moving up Black Friday to start now (!), and the threat of supply chain snarls and shipping delays are prompting consumers to get out their credit cards early this year. This may be one of the reasons why 2021 is projected to be the biggest holiday shopping season ever, especially for e-commerce. According to eMarketer, U.S. holiday retail is forecasted to rise nearly 3 percent and e-commerce sales are predicted to jump 11.3 percent to $206.88 billion. In a quick survey of retailers, here are the trends we’re seeing this year — and best practices that drive high conversions. Here’s how to make your 2021 holiday creative stand out: Self-Gifting is Big This Year Speaking of impulse buys … Consumers have a “for me” line on their gift lists: 51 percent of Christmas shoppers buy gifts for themselves during the holidays. (It’s been a crazy year, why not?) Average order value tends to drop during the holidays, so offer plenty of gift ideas at lower price points to make it easy to buy just one more. Also consider offering gift items that aren’t part of your everyday assortment to engage loyal customers in a different way during the holidays. Give Your Customers Gift Inspiration Shoppers are looking for ideas. High-density gift images deliver many ideas in one glance. Holiday shoppers also have lists of people to buy gifts for so creating curated collections and grouping products by giftees (e.g., moms, dads, fashionable friends, etc.) reflects how consumers think and makes it easier...
“ICSC: 86% of consumers will shop over Thanksgiving weekend” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

“ICSC: 86% of consumers will shop over Thanksgiving weekend” by Tatiana Walk-Morris via Retail Dive

image by Libby Penner Dive Brief: As shoppers prepare for the busiest shopping weekend of the year, a new report from ICSC predicts that consumers will spend $491 on average between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, bringing in a total of over $108 billion for the weekend. Of the ICSC’s 1,015 survey respondents, 36% said they plan to choose where to shop based on discounts, followed by product availability (31%) and product variety (22%). Nearly half of shoppers (49%) will shop at brick-and-mortar stores on Thanksgiving Day, and just over half (51%) plan only to shop online. But while almost three-fourths (73%) of consumers plan to shop either online or in-store on Black Friday, the majority (81%) of Cyber Monday shoppers plan to buy their holiday goods online. Of the consumers heading to malls this holiday season, 59% will go there to shop, 47% will dine at a restaurant, 24% will go to a movie and 15% want to take their child to visit Santa Claus. Dive Insight: Though retailers like Best Buy, Target and Walmart have been introducing deals earlier this year — a practice that might stick around for the foreseeable future — the ICSC survey indicates that many consumers are keeping up with Black Friday and Cyber Monday traditions. Per the survey findings, 86% of consumers plan to shop between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday. How they plan to shop differs. A report from Shopify noted that nearly all (94%) respondents said they will make their holiday purchases online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and 65% will do so in stores.  Though a sizable share of consumers plans to shop during the Black Friday weekend, retailers are divided on whether to remain...
“How To Prepare For Small Business Saturday Nov 27” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

“How To Prepare For Small Business Saturday Nov 27” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

Small businesses have survived the judgment made about them as “non-essential” and now there is a groundswell of support for them this Small Business Saturday that didn’t exist just a few years ago. We collectively woke up and realized it really mattered that we chose our neighbors to buy from so we could repair our communities. The important thing for small businesses to realize is the holidays in general and Small Business Saturday in particular is the time you can be the most connected with your community. I think too many retailers and restaurants have used it as a day to try to have discounts but that is not the way to give value to customers. Especially with supply chains still broken – you put a 20% off sale – you’re going to sell out of all of your best sellers – then have to go back to your vendor (who has raised prices) to refill. That doesn’t scale. It doesn’t build profits. It doesn’t make sense. What does make sense? Give more than a discount Smart retailers understand that job No. 1 is to find ways to connect with your customers in a real way. That is not going to be through a discount that is quickly forgotten. The more you can partner with other retailers on your block the better – it’s a community day. And I get it, there are also cogs in your neighborhood. You know the ones. The ones griping about business and all that others aren’t doing for them. Maybe they own the building but haven’t invested in paint or upgrades in decades. I’m not...