Publisher’s Note: Are You Ready?

2011 was a banner year for digital holiday sales. But there’s more good news: 2012 will blow 2011 numbers out of the water.

As predictions go, that one is a lock. Here’s why:

Digital shoppers are still growing in numbers.

Digital marketers continue to innovate faster and better than instore marketers.

Digital marketers have the flexibility to monitor, test and change pricing and merchandising at the drop of a trend.

The growth of online loyalty and shipping programs like Amazon Prime and ShopRunner is giving the lie to the criticism that online shoppers are fickle.

Digital sales are winning more “share of wallet” (see above).

Mobile and tablet shopping continues to increase—119 million tablets are projected to be sold in 2012.

“Shop online, pick up in the store” services continue to increase—consumers get it, in both senses.

The lure of “spontaneous” digital deals is having an impact.

Traditional brick-and-mortar stores are getting more aggressive—and savvier—about their digital marketing.

More merchants are marrying and using their data from digital, catalog, and store.

And, still untested: The possibility that same-day delivery may play a role in this year’s holiday sales only heightens my sales expectations.

Consider this an inspirational message, but also a warning. Get your holiday plans in place. Now. Make sure you are ready to take advantage of every opportunity, winning over every customer you can. Think about the lifetime value of every customer you please, and the loss of every customer you disappoint.

Wishing you a wonderful season!

Weigh in on your expectations, and why, for 2012 digital holiday sales by contacting me via email at Ellen.Shannon@penton.com or on twitter @ShannonMCM.

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