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BizReport : Advertising : September 23, 2021

Reports: What merchants can expect from holiday rush

Forecasts are beginning to hit for merchants and brands in the lead-up to the holiday shopping season and while most experts are in agreement that US consumers are ready to spend, just how they will shell out those hard-earned dollars may have changed compared to the recent past. Here's what merchants need to know.

by Kristina Knight

First, an overview of what merchants can expect from the holiday season. Deloitte's Holiday Retail Forecast suggests ecommerce will increase by about 15% YoY, to reach at least $210 billion for the season. Overall holiday shopping is expected to increase by about 7%, to reach $1.3 trillion during the November and December holiday rush period.

"We anticipate strong consumer spending for the upcoming holiday season. As vaccination rates rise and consumers are more comfortable being outside of the home, we are likely to see increased spending on services, including restaurants and travel, while spending on goods will continue to hold steady. A steady decline in the savings rate to pre-pandemic levels will support consumer spending and keep retail sales elevated this season," said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte's U.S. economic forecaster. "Further, e-commerce sales will continue to grow as consumers demonstrate an ongoing and steady movement toward buying online across all categories."

Meanwhile, from Constant Contact, new data shows a disconnect between how people are shopping and how merchants thing they are shopping. According to their research only about 20% of shoppers are making purchases via social media, this is despite the huge increase in dollars spent on influencer campaigns, clickable social media links, and the like. By comparison nearly two-thirds (64%) of small merchants say 'they expect' shoppers to buy more from social media. SMBs have also invested heavily in websites (55%) and email (52%).

Shoppers, meanwhile, are fairly evenly split in where they buy online: about one-third (34%) buy from email messaging, 30% make purchases from text/SMS messaging, and 20% are buying from social.

Tags: 2021 holiday season, advertising, Constant Contact, Deloitte, ecommerce, holiday advertising tips, holiday advertising trends, mobile marketing

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