It’s that time of year once again when we try to find the best gifts at the best prices for the people we care about. But we don't make multiple trips to the stores like we used to. These days we consumers shop online in greater numbers than ever.
According to research conducted by eMarketer, this particular holiday season will experience an increase in total retail sales, as well as a record-breaking rise in eCommerce sales.
“This holiday season—which eMarketer defines as November and December—total retail sales will increase 3.3% over the same period last year to $884.50 billion,” says eMarketer. “Holiday retail ecommerce sales will jump to $94.71 billion, representing 10.7% of total holiday retail sales—the largest portion ever.” Last year’s eCommerce statistics amounted to about $69 billion.
An Ongoing Trend
This predication by eMarketer isn’t so surprising considering that eCommerce has been growing steadily for years.
Each year surpasses the previous year’s total eCommerce sales, not just in sales made during the holidays.
Ten years ago eMarketer reported that eCommerce holiday sales significantly increased. In 2006 total online holiday eCommerce sales (not counting travel revenues) had reached $24.6 billion, up 26 percent from 2005. It also said that online retail spending for the entire year increased by 24 percent.
But it doesn’t stop there. Each year surpasses the previous year’s total eCommerce sales, not just in sales made during the holidays.
In 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, “Total e-commerce sales for 2009 were estimated at $134.9 billion.” Its estimate represented a 2 percent increase from 2008. The rate hasn't slowed, the federal agency reports. “Total e-commerce sales for 2012 were estimated at $225.5 billion,” 15.8 percent more than 2011 sales.
What does this mean for merchants?
Based on eMarketer’s forecast, these sales figures will continue to skyrocket, especially during the holiday season. Merchants should be aware that their store's website and online sales can play a critical role as well as their store's physical location in ensuring their retail success. The holidays can be a stressful time of year for shoppers, so offering them the ability to easily purchase holiday gifts online can make all the difference to your bottom line, because this mode of shopping is only going to grow in popularity.
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