Online retail stores will likely see an increase in holiday sales for 2017, as two out of five Americans plan to spend more this year, according to a Forrester Research report.
The report showed that average consumer spending would rise 8% to $689, as the number of online shoppers would increase 3% during the holiday season. The growth would then lift total e-commerce sales for the year, up 12% to $129 billion.
Brick and Mortar
Traditional retailers would continue to record neutral growth as the report expects sales to reach $549 billion. This represented a slightly higher growth in 2016 when sales grew just 0.3%. Aside from store management training programs, brick-and-mortar shops should understand that a “flawless omnichannel fulfillment” will be the key in weathering the impact of online competition, according to the report.
A survey of 1,500 consumers in September reflected this requirement, as 55% admitted to visiting a store to see a product and buying it at a later time. While online stores will not entirely displace traditional shops anytime soon, the survey indicated that shoppers are considering the former to be a source of good — if not better — customer experience.
Physical stores may have begun to pick up the Forrester report’s suggestion omnichannel fulfillment, as manifested by a trend of how European retailers operate in various markets. Brands such as Publix and Wegmans are some of the better-performing regional players in the U.S. due to their understanding that creating demographically and culturally diverse solutions are important.
For this reason, other companies should be aware that the U.S. market should not be treated as a single market. Without diversity, more shoppers could be swayed to favor online shopping.
Online retail has continued to gain traction in the U.S., which means that traditional shops should find ways on how to keep up with increasing competition.