Consumers’ holiday gift giving budgets slightly reduced this year
The holiday season is the busiest and most important shopping period of the year. Retailers are preparing to meet the surge of customers by hiring on new staff, purchasing a healthy stock of additional goods and improving both their e-commerce offerings and store operations to cater to all of their patrons. However, merchants should ready themselves for a slight decrease in their customers' budgets.
Recent findings from the National Retail Federation (NRF) anticipate that consumers will be spending less this holiday season. Consumers will be spending $737.95 on average, a 2 percent decrease from last year. NRF predicts that self-gifting will experience a similar reduction. But while shopping budgets might be lower, total retail sales are still expected to increase by 3.9 percent from 2012 to each $602.1 billion.
While brick-and-mortar sales will still be key to retail success this season, brands that emphasize their e-commerce merchandising may still benefit from an uptick in profits due to a potential 15 percent rise in online purchases. Because many customers will be shopping on smartphones and tablets, it is important that retailers use a versatile point of sale system that works easily across all platforms.