November marks the start of 2016’s holiday season, and the beginning of what is anticipated to be unprecedented sales growth. The National Retail Federation expects to see holiday sales increase 3.6 percent, with non-store sales increasing as much as 7 to 10 percent. Raising the bar even higher, eMarketer predicts online sales will jump 17.2 percent this year. While these forecasts put holiday spending well beyond the current ten-year average and are the sign of a strong economy, Pepperjam believes the predictions are not ambitious enough.
With a portfolio of 1,200 clients, many of which are in retail, Pepperjam has a front row seat to the rapid acceleration of e-commerce and a vast selection of data points that suggest this year’s total e-commerce site sales will actually increase by 21.3 percent, more than five points higher than current predictions. Many factors contribute to year-over-year growth in holiday “e-tail” sales, including changes to consumer demand, prices of goods, macroeconomic conditions like inflation, or a variation in the number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas (up two days from last year). Through our user research team, Pepperjam’s Analytics and Insights team has the added bonus of having a window in to what is driving today’s consumer and what is altering or influencing their shopping behaviors.With a sales increase greater than twenty percent and numbers projected to be higher than the pre-recession economy, retailers must sharpen e-commerce strategies and prepare for increased traffic. To achieve the expected 21.3 percent increase in online sales, brands must be diligent in the optimization of their marketing strategies to capture the attention of consumers in the moment.