Any Surprises in the 2014 Xmas Shopping Forecast?
With the Canadian economy rolling again, we’re feeling a cautious sense of optimism about this year’s Xmas shopping season. The forecast growth for 2014 holiday shopping in Canada is between 2 to 2.5% so it bears that feeling out.
If you’re not familiar with holiday shopping numbers, there probably are some big surprises in the 2014 forecast. And the outlook for Ontario is particularly bright.
Deloitte Holiday Retail Outlook
Deloitte just released their 2014 Holiday Retail Outlook report ─ a view of the results of their survey unfortunately taken during the recent stock market downturn. In fact, retailers may be expecting even better sales numbers this year than the report suggests. Surveyed consumers probably didn’t expect a prolonged drop in the Canadian dollar or price of oil. These are big factors in the resurgence of retail in the last quarter.
The 2014 retail season in the US is looking very rosy with estimates of 4.5% growth over the 2013 shopping season. That has a lot of people feeling good here in Canada (Ontario) too.
Greater Toronto Area, OntarioToronto shoppers are feeling good about their economic prospects. Nearly half (47.4%) feel the economy will remain stable next year, while another 40% expect it will improve. As well, more than half (52.3%) feel secure in their jobs. Will holiday spending rise, then? Probably: 11.1% of Toronto shoppers plan to spend more on holiday purchases this year. From the 2014 Holiday Retail Outlook report from Deloitte.
In terms of spending, 57% of shoppers plan to keep their spending the same this year, while 8.4% plan to spend much more. And the younger generations are the most optimistic and therefore represent a strong market. In the report, Deloitte talks about about their use of social networks and preference for discount coupons and comparison sites.
Path to Purchase is Changing
Yes, how people shop, make buying decisions and have products delivered is changing significantly. With Amazon getting so much media attention with its drone shipping service intentions, consumer’s expectations are being altered. Many will want more flexibility in how they can acquire/ship/pickup their Xmas purchases.
Online shopping is growing and online shoppers are big spenders with a whopping average expenditure of $746 compared to $382 for brick and mortar shoppers. 30% now would prefer to do all their shopping online.
Brands, manufacturers and retailers obviously have to pay more attention to the online channel and learn how to fuse it with the physical in-store experience. Few shoppers would regard the online shopping experience as “fulfilling.” Brand managers would agree that brands are more powerful in-store and that the online experience is not brand friendly. That’s just a couple of reasons why you should be studying how to fuse ecommerce with physical retail.
Deloitte found that shoppers rated competitive prices, no pressure to buy, fast checkout, knowledgeable staff, and neat display of merchandise as their top criteria for the ideal in-store shopping experience.
The Retail Challenge in 2015
As consumers become more comfortable with online shopping, will your in-store promotion need to evolve? Are you up on the market and which factors really do make a difference to your brand experience and sales? Read our 9 rules for exceptional packaging design and our tips on packaging design improvement. Discover the 9 Drivers of Packaging Trends before you commit to a new packaging design.
Brick and mortar retailers should be investigating mobile connections with their customers. Here’s how you can reach more, younger shoppers and stimulate sales from them and how you can use ecommerce packaging to your advantage. The new practice of customer experience strategy is particularly intriguing and you really need to understand more about impulse shopping to capitalize on the fact that shoppers are making purchase decisions in store, more than ever.
The success of Bath & Body works stores bears out the potential for good beauty and personal care products merchandising and packaging. That’s not to say they couldn’t be doing packaging better. Some retailers may find they’re over-specializing in primary and POP packaging styles (such as plastic as opposed to paper-based packaging as in the case of soap packaging and coroflot displays).
Good luck with your 2014 holiday season sales!