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Early Holiday Forecast: Sales Will Soar

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This holiday season, brick-and-mortar store sales are expected to rise 7.9 percent and contribute nearly 72 percent of the season’s growth as total U.S. holiday sales surpass $1 trillion for the second time ever with a 9.0 percent overall growth rate. Holiday ecommerce sales, meanwhile, are predicted to increase 14.4 percent to more than $211.8 billion dollars and contribute more than 18 percent of the season’s revenues, according to eMarketer/Insider Intelligence’s U.S. Holiday 2021 forecast. January Digital/Coresight Research, meanwhile, says that on average U.S. shoppers will spend 59 percent of the holiday dollars online, up from 52 percent in 2020.

Given supply chain and product availability issues among others, eMarketer says 31 percent of consumers will commence holiday shopping before Halloween with 55 percent starting to make purchases before Thanksgiving. An Oracle consumer survey found that 52 percent of U.S. consumers had already started shopping by mid-October or planning to ship earlier than usual.

With many retailers planning to close for the November holiday, the eMarketer sees Black Friday sales topping the $10 billion mark for the first time, rising 15.8 percent year-over-year to $10.42 billion.

So, what will consumers be looking for?

Gift cards top the list for those surveyed by Oracle, including 60 percent of the Baby Boomers they asked. Fashion apparel (26%) and footwear (22%) were also top choices. EMarketer research suggests apparel/accessory sales will grow 25.5 percent this season to more than $46.3 billion, surpassing consumer electronics as the most bought and sought-after category of products.

The Nike app was on 4.7 percent of the mobile devices of eMarketer respondents with 90 percent of them saying they intend to make a holiday purchase on it. The Swoosh is among a handful of “new normal” Power Brands expected to be ecommerce beneficiaries along with Amazon, Chewy, Etsy, Apple, lululemon and Peloton.

January Digital/Coresight Research found that convenience will be more crucial than discounts or promotions for shoppers. Most respondents (57%) said they want fast, free delivery for online orders and easy, free product returns for online orders (45%).

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Oct 20, 2021

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