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2016 Holiday Shopping Statistics: Where Should You Invest Your Inventory

Posted by Arianna Thayer on Nov 24, 2016

2016 holiday shopping statistics

The holiday season is the time of year when many businesses hunker down, cross their fingers, and hope to make their margins. Seeing as most retail businesses make anywhere between 20% and 30% of their entire annual sales in the holiday season, it’s particularly important that consumer interest is high and merchants are prepared. This year there’s good news: experts are predicting strong sales this holiday season from both brick-and-mortar and eCommerce retailers. Find out which 3 products experts are predicting will be huge this year, and where you should invest your inventory. .So, without further ado, here’s a breakdown of the 2016 holiday shopping statistics:

The numbers look good

It’s good news all around for retailers. The National Retail Federation’s holiday spending statistics predictions are at all all-time high for 2016, with an expected increase in sales of 3.6% (to $655.8 billion) for November and December and a non-store sales increase between 7-10% equaling up to $117 billion.

eCommerce on the rise

Practical eCommerce predicts a 13% growth in online shopping and mobile commerce will be a major player in purchasing this year with a projected 60% increase. This is good news for eCommerce, which has seen a steady growth over the years with the assistance of shopping days like Green and Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday still on top

While most people think Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, Cyber Monday actually surpassed it in sales several years ago. In fact, experts are even predicting sales will exceed last year’s $3 billion.

Black Friday will be the bigger than ever

Falling just short of Cyber Monday, Black Friday sales reached $2.71 billion in 2015. According to Adobe Digital Insights, sales are expected to exceed $3 billion, with an 11.5% increase from last year. I think many of these sales will be redirected to retailer’s online stores, and we’ll see lighter foot traffic as many businesses begin offering Black Friday deals online early every year.

Pokémon, Barbie & Legos for the win

If we’re going to go off social mentions, it looks like there’s a few clear winners. Pokémon Sun/Moon came in first, with Barbie and Lego a close second and third. Other honorable mentions are Oculus and Playstation VR.

The item on everyone’s wishlists

For adults, the iPhone 7 is the item on everyone’s eCommerce tech wishlists. Accessories and periphery items will also likely be at the top of gift-givers lists. Although not an “expert” opinion, I suspect we’ll see a huge increase in smart technology purchases this year with the recent release of Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Free shipping or bust

Practical eCommerce predicts 60% of orders will include free shipping. Seeing as shipping is the most frequent cause of cart abandonment, this should come as no surprise. In fact, companies like Best Buy and Target are offering free shipping through Christmas to compete with Amazon’s two-day Prime Shipping.

Shopping has already begun

Though Black Friday is soon upon us, according to National Retail Federation, over half of consumers started their Christmas shopping way back in October. However, despite the ever-growing shopping season, six in ten Americans will be bundled up Friday morning in line to snag big deals. According to their research, over 137 million people are considering or planning to shop Black Friday sales.

The gifts that keep on giving

Consumers are expected to spend about $460 on family, which would be a pretty good chunk of what’s on most people’s wish lists: the iPhone 7. Consumers are projected to spend $76 on friends, and $25 on co-workers. Over half of consumers that will purchase clothing/accessories, and gift cards and 44% that will purchase books, which means that for the rest of us friends and co-workers, we’ll probably be rolling in Barnes and Noble bargain books and Amazon gift cards.

Personal Shoppers

According to research, the one person on everyone’s shopping list is (drumroll, please)... themselves. Experts are predicting it to be the second highest year on record of average consumer spending ($935.58), down a little from last year. However, an estimated $133.74 of that is expected to be spent on personal purchases.

Conclusion

Overall, expectations for this holiday shopping trends are pretty high. Perhaps some of the most exciting holiday shopping statistics are the expected 13% increase in eCommerce sales this year. While customers are planning to spend a lot on themselves, there’s a huge opportunity for retailers to benefit from these projected sales boosts. Electronic sales should remain strong with the iPhone 7 and Pokémon Sun & Moon games at the top of many lists, but special attention should be given to Barbie and Legos, which are also predicted to be top sellers. These items will be going fast on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which should be the highest grossing days in years, but don’t let other big shopping holidays fall through the cracks. Check out these other top shopping days so you can make sure you’re making the most of your busiest season.

 

Topics: Peak Season, eCommerce