86 Percent Of Online Retailers Expect Holiday Sales Growth In 2014
ChannelAdvisor survey points to confidence ahead of yet another compressed holiday season.
Coming off an estimated 12 percent growth during the 2013 holidays, online retailers are expecting even fuller stockings this holiday season. In a survey of 200 mid- to large-sized retailers, 86 percent said they expect higher holiday sales this year compared 2013. Not a single online retailer polled said they expected to see sales decline from the previous year.
The holiday insights come from retailers — all of which had minimum online revenues of $1 million with an average of $3 to $ million in revenue last year — in the U.S. and U.K. polled for ChannelAdvisor’s Multichannel E-Commerce study. Just over a quarter (27 percent) of the retailers expect holiday sales to increase between 11 to 15 percent, while nearly half (46 percent) expect single digit increases compared to last year.
In the U.S., this year’s holiday season will be compressed like it was last year, with Thanksgiving coming in the last week of November. Cyber Monday falls on December first.
“As we suspected, our survey confirms that retailers are planning to begin their holiday promotions early and to focus on customer service features to help increase sales,” said Scot Wingo, ChannelAdvisor CEO.
Even with the short season, just 23 percent were planning their push earlier than in previous year. That may be a reflection of retailers feeling like they got their timing right last year. Forty-two percent of retailers said their holiday push would start in September. One in five had planned to start executing their plans in August or earlier.
Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of retailers surveyed said they did not plan to increase their digital marketing budgets for the holidays compared to last year.
Free shipping and returns will continue to be popular, with 41 percent of retailers saying they’ll offer that perk to consumers.
In a sign of confidence, just 27 percent of online retailers said they’ll be discounting select products to increase holiday sales in 2014.