Holiday Shoppers Plan to Hit Websites More Often This Year

November 23, 2016         By: Steven Anderson

While there’s undoubtedly a certain visceral thrill in joining the Black Friday throng to fight for the right to buy a television at a ridiculous discount, when cooler heads prevail, they often consider online shopping instead.

In fact, this year, new reports suggest that there will be about 18 percent more money spent online this year than last, meaning that bolstering that online shopping experience will be crucial to landing a slice of that holiday shopping spend.

The new word comes from Visa, who not only pronounced big gains ahead for online retailers, but also that there would be plenty of new shoppers as well.

Forty-seven percent would shop online at some point, and a full third would shop from mobile devices.

The gains won’t be universal, however; online clothiers and accessories as well as home décor items will be hardest hit here, as customers tend to prefer purchasing such things in stores instead.

Media items like books, CDs and DVDs will have a field day, along with toys and video games, several breeds of electronics, and sporting goods.

Physical merchants are also poised for losses this go-round; physical merchants expect a drop from 63 percent of all holiday traffic to just 59 percent, and shopping malls look for a loss from 53 percent to 50 percent.

Independent stores not connected to malls look for a drop from 42 percent to 38 percent. Showrooming, meanwhile, is expected to be a continuing issue for stores; showrooming refers to the practice of viewing and experiencing an item in stores and then finding the best price online.

Basically, the trend seems to be continuing, and this is going to hit the stores increasingly hard. Businesses have to be ready for this, and be prepared to offer the best in online experience or risk losing ground to other websites.

Combining the experience can help here, as can using stores more like showrooms to back up the online experience.

In the end, online shopping is proving a powerhouse for the holidays, and whether it’s desktop or mobile, more people will be turning to devices to take care of those Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa presents.