It’s not a very merry message, but it’s true: Holiday 2016 could be “make or break” time for many U.S. and UK retailers.
A recent survey from ChannelAdvisor Corporation, a leading provider of cloud-based e-commerce solutions that enable retailers and manufacturers to increase global sales, has the proof. Its E-Commerce Holiday Season Survey 2016, which polled about 200 U.S. and UK retailers, “found that 64 percent of respondents plan to increase digital marketing/advertising or offer online promotions earlier as their key strategies to increase 2016 holiday sales.”
“We’ve seen online shopping start earlier in the holiday season the last few years, and consumers have become much more active on mobile devices,” said ChannelAdvisor Executive Chairman Scot Wingo. “While Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in 2015 according to our same-store sales data, consumers were much more active on Thanksgiving than past years.”
That’s why an early start is critical in 2016.
“It’s increasingly competitive for retailers to earn their share of consumers’ wallets, and this survey shows that retailers are being proactive by offering up more promotions, boosting ad spend and beginning their holiday promotions right now,” Wingo explained.
Why is the holiday season so critical? According to the survey:
- An average of 52 percent of annual sales for these businesses is dependent upon the holiday season.
- 48 percent of respondents anticipate that 2016 will bring an increase in online sales.
- The top holiday strategy is to increase digital marketing and advertising spend.
Interestingly, fulfillment is the largest challenge for retailers during the holiday season, the report summary reads. About 51 percent of survey respondents said they worry about filling orders on time. Twenty eight percent worry about failing to respond quickly enough to competitor activity.
In addition to an early start, retailers are pressured into a late finish. The need to capture sales has led many retailers to extend their cut-off dates for guaranteed on-time Christmas/holiday deliveries to as late as the December 22 or later.
For an infographic of the E-Commerce Holiday Season Survey 2016 results, click here.