The 2015 holiday season is projected to be merry and bright for retailers across the country. JLL recently conducted its annual Holiday Sentiment Report, which revealed retailers’ expectations and preparations for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
So what’s so special about this year? For one, the U.S. unemployment rate is at its lowest since 2008, which means more spending money for shoppers.
The calendar also plays a significant role in influencing consumer shopping patterns this year. With Christmas falling on a Friday (the first time this has happened since 2009), 71% of retailers predict after-Christmas shopping will boost holiday sales. The shopping season is also longer this year, with the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas extended by one day. The majority of retailers (68%) expect the extra day to have an impact on sales.
Among the hustle and bustle of what looks to be a promising holiday season for retailers, how can your shop stand out and make a splash? Below we’ve identified three tips that will help drive sales, increase foot traffic, and unify the in-store and online shopping experience.
3 Retail Tips to Shine This Holiday Season
- Brick-and-mortar meets digital. Omni-channel shopping is more prevalent than ever. Consumers want a simplified shopping experience on every device, from mobile, to iPad and desktop. The most successful retailers will merge the brick-and-mortar experience with the digital landscape, offering the best of both worlds through more options, personalization and connectivity. In the words of JLL’s Greg Maloney, JLL America’s Retail CEO:
“To be effective this holiday season, retailers need well-coordinated and integrated sales efforts. This includes both physical and virtual components that create a sense of identity for a retail property, and embed it in the heart of a community.”
- Promotions prompt purchases. Speaking of tech, consumers are savvier than ever, with 81% conducting online research before the final sale. Free shipping and discounted rates help attract shoppers to your front door (or website), so make sure to promote these offerings to research-savvy shoppers. According to JLL’s Holiday Sentiment Report, 48% of retailers offer free shipping / ship from store, which has a significant impact on buyer behavior. In fact, 38% of shoppers will not shop online if the retailer does not offer free shipping.
- Timing is everything. Retailers should plan promotional holiday sales when their target demographics are most likely to shop. Since we’re past Black Friday, maximize the time you have left. According to Bronto Software’s Holiday Planning Report, those aged 50+ are most likely holding out on shopping until after Cyber Monday.
Roughly 80% of retailers said that this is the most important time of the year for revenue. If you’ve yet to executve your holiday specials, now is the time!
According to Naveen Jaggi, President of Retail Brokerage at JLL, “The retailers that will stand out from the pack this year will be those who push the envelope on convenience offerings, without taking it to the point where it hurts the bottom line.”
To accomplish this, identify your primary target audiences, and focus your digital strategy and promotions around their shopping patterns.
For more information about holiday retail trends and expectations, download our free report, JLL’s 2015 Holiday Sentiment Report.
About the Authors
Mary Bresnahan is a Vice President with JLL working on the Retail Brokerage team from Columbus, Ohio. Mary specializes in agency leasing, tenant representation and real estate advisory for tenants and investors. Melissa Ruther is a Vice President with JLL working on the Retail Brokerage team from Cincinnati, Ohio. Melissa specializes in tenant representation, agency leasing, and real estate advisory for tenants and investors.