Retailers with seamless omnichannel experiences stand to benefit this holiday season, according to a report by credit consulting firm Information Clearinghouse (ICI). Holiday Retail Preview 2020 authors came to many of the same conclusions announced in other reports:
- A shift toward digital spending — In 2019, holiday sales rose 4.1%; this year, expectations range from a mid-teens decline to 5% growth, with the average forecast rising 1% to 2%, led by e-commerce sales growth of 25% to 35%.
- Early shopping — Consumers are seeking deals earlier in the season, which is pulling spending from fiscal 4Q into 3Q.
- More ways to order and get merchandise — The pandemic has accelerated retailer investment in omnichannel, with most adding BOPIS and curbside pickup, improving loyalty programs, offering delivery options, and/or ramping up personalized digital marketing.
- Lockdown-based gifting — As much of the country remains in their homes amidst regional flare-ups of COVID-19, the electronics, home products, and activity-based gift categories are expected to flourish.
The report forecast that this year’s top retailers will be Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Best Buy.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed to the forefront those retailers with a strong multi-channel presence, particularly with the holiday gift-giving season starting earlier than ever,” says Lawrence Sarf, CEO of ICI. “Consumers will be looking to interact with brick-and-mortar and mobile commerce to ensure the best prices and to seek faster, safer, more efficient purchasing experiences. This expert analyst coverage of what’s ahead in the 2020 holiday sales period leverages ICI’s analytic and proprietary tools to pinpoint which retailers and segments will come out on top and which could lag behind.”
Copies of the report are available here.