Deloitte Predicts Increase in Holiday Sales and Mobile Use

Sep 27, 2012 12:21 AM  By

Retailers should expect to see a modest increase in sales and mcommerce this holiday season, according to a recently released Deloitte forecast.

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Deloitte expects total holiday sales to climb to between $920 and $925 billion, representing a 3.5 to 4% increase compared to last year’s holiday season.

According to a press release issued by Deloitte, retailers should expect to see a 17% increase in non-store channels such as online, catalog and TV.

“Non-store sales continue to outpace overall growth, but increasingly influence consumers’ experience with the retail store, from trip planning, to in-store product research, and post-purchase reviews and sharing,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution sector leader.

“This holiday season, retailers’ most lucrative customers may be the ones they engage across physical and virtual storefronts,” Paul said in the release.

So what will your customer be looking for this holiday season? According to the release, “consumers are expected to keep a sharp eye on promotions and pricing, making retailers’ digital connections with consumers before and during each shopping trip even more critical this year.”

“Consumers should see more price transparency across mobile, online and store channels, and retailers will use these same channels to gain insights into their core customers’ behavior. Retailers that interpret and respond to real-time information about shoppers can hit the right notes on pricing and promotions that drive traffic without eroding margins,” Paul said in the release.

Mobile sales are expected to climb this season, according to Deloitte. The release states that “mobile-influenced retail store sales will account for 5.1 %, or $36 billion, in retail store sales this year during the holiday season. This increase, Deloitte believes, will be based on smartphone activity such as product research, price comparison and the use of apps.

Deloitte also states that “shoppers armed with smartphones are 14% more likely to make a purchase in the store than those who do not use a smartphone as part of their in-store journey.”

Erin Lynch is the associate editor at Multichannel Merchant. Erin can be reached at 203-358-3755 or by emailing her at erin.lynch@penton.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @LynchMCM or on LinkedIn.