Predicting high margins and a continued increase in e-commerce activity, RetailNext is forecasting a 3.2% increase in year-over-year holiday sales.
Categories including women’s fashion and jewelry along with wearable technology will be among the season’s top performers, RetailNext said.
But with the expected growth, RetailNext’s outlook for the holidays shows a continued shift in consumer shopping habits. Digital sales are expected to grow 14.9% with brick-and-mortar store traffic forecasted to drop 11% in November and 5% in December when compared to 2015, according to RetailNext.
“Shoppers continue to adopt cross-channel shopping journeys, and by doing so they require retailers to seamlessly present branded experiences across all shopping touchpoints, both online and in-store,” said Shelley Kohan, vp/retail consulting at RetailNext.
She noted that while Black Friday, Super Saturday and Cyber Monday will continue to be key selling points throughout the holiday shopping season, Kohan feels those retailers who are nimble enough to act In December on the lesson learned from shoppers in November will find greater success.
“Retailers will be emphasizing initiatives around the shopping experience, keenly stressing the easing of pain points experienced by shoppers in their journeys,” she said. “In addition to ensuring product availability, price matching and pricing transparency will rise to the forefront, and retailers will provide the necessary training to allow sales associates to close the knowledge gap where shoppers frequently know more about the brand and its products and services than associates do.”