Holiday Shopping Predicted to Rise

Social media won’t matter, but online and mobile devices will draw avid shoppers, a survey of holiday shopping predictions found.

Expect to see flash sales, buy-one-get-one free offers and free shipping, at specific times throughout the season. About a third of retailers (30%) said they will begin promotions before October 1, and more than 40% said they will wait until early November.

Most retailers (60%) forecast growth in excess of 10% for the upcoming online holiday season revenue, according to the 2013 Holiday Predictions Survey by Baynote, a San Jose, California-based provider of personalized customer experience solutions.

Retailers expect some bump in sales, with 38% of respondents projecting an increase of 11% to 20% over sales in 2012. The season will start slowly, retailers feel, and gain momentum in the last two months. 

As the season ticks along, online will continue to steal market share from brick-and-mortar retailers, and more than half of respondents (53%) expect mobile transactions to account for a significant part of holiday revenue.

About a third of retailers (38%) believe mobile will drive renewed in-store interest that will lead to increased revenue. Heading into the holiday season, the momentum of mobile shopping is in stark contrast to the use of social media, which most retailers (84%) see as having little or no impact on sales.

Because of the expected move toward mobile, nearly all retailers are investing in enhanced home, category and landing pages on their sites, while 77% plan to invest in enhanced site search capabilities. Eighty-one percent of retailers have dedicated resources to upgrade e-commerce platforms in anticipation of the season.

Baynote’s study surveyed 77 U.S. retailers with annual revenues of less than $20 million to more than $5 billion.