Adobe: Mobile Payments, Retail Tech to Light Fires Under Holiday Shopping 2018

November 7, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

With the arrival of any new holiday shopping season comes an array of predictions about the ultimate outcome of said holiday shopping season. A new report from Adobe suggests that technology will be, as it usually is, a very big deal this year, but for a rather different set of reasons than we’re used to. This year, two of the biggest points of the holiday shopping season revolve around what consumers want, and how technology will help give it to them.

Adobe notes that e-commerce in the United States will make up about 14.8 percent of the total holiday shopping spend, making it clear there’s still a place for Black Friday deals and mall Santas. That 14.8 percent is said to be worth around $124.1 billion total, and Cyber Monday, a former marketing gimmick turned effectively full-on holiday, is also set to hit a record of $7.7 billion in sales.

This is actually a partial reflection of a changing overall market. The growth of online-and-offline shopping combinations is said to be substantial, as customers are either buying online and picking things up in the store or going to the store and buying online later, a practice sometimes call “showrooming.”

In fact, one of the biggest points Adobe brought to bear is that millennials—the force that’s currently making retailers look at online shopping in a whole new way—are actually looking to disconnect sometimes, and reconnect with the real world. That’s a seismic shock to the market, which had been frantically trying to close the gap between what millennials seemed to want almost universally and what they seem to now want instead.

With new technologies like smart speakers and AI-driven assistants throwing in, it’s easy to see the gee-whiz factor will continue to play a role. Yet with the millennials even looking to get back into stores, and online still really only a sideshow, how far can any of this go? Will we see a revival of stores ahead of the Gen Z change, driven in part by millennials who miss the goods-handling experience?

Only time will tell just how this all factors out, but it’s clear this whole field is one to watch. You never know when change may come.