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Holiday forecast: Digital promotions to help drive in-store purchases


Holiday spending is expected to spike by a solid 4%.

That’s according to the “2016 Holiday Season Forecast,” an annual report from investment firm JLL that is based on responses from 2,800 shoppers across 31 shopping centers.

Now that Halloween — and all of the holiday’s hype — is complete, 45% of retailers are in holiday mode. Nearly half of the industry’s retailers expect to make between 11% and 30% of their annual revenue this holiday season, and more than half of retailers expect to generate up to 20% of their total holiday sales over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend alone, the report said.

During the holiday rush, 77% of retailers believe that shopper traffic will stay the same or increase compared with last year. To help drive shoppers through their doors this season, retailers will focus on digital promotions and integrations. Specifically, 60% of retailers will offer discounts via email or text message, 29% will use online ordering and in-store pick-up, and nearly 20% will provide free home delivery, data revealed.

Interestingly, almost two-thirds of retailers indicated that they plan to have the same promotions available both in-store and online, a move that illustrates the integration of their physical and online channels.

“It makes sense that retailers are beginning to look at their channels as one cohesive system as opposed to separate entities,” added James Cook, director of retail research, JLL. “In many ways, mobile and e-commerce now serve as the gateway to the physical store driving shoppers in to buy, return or pick-up online orders. Offering similar promotions allows consumers to have a seamless shopping experience.”

Retailers this year are also adding more experiences into their in-store plans, with nearly one-fifth planning some form of entertainment, including Santa or live music. One retailer will bring in authors for a book reading and another will provide makeup tutorials, according to JLL.

There is also a clear generational divide when it comes to what experiences will influence store visits. With a line drawn between Millennials and Gen Xers on one side and Boomers and the “over 70” segment on the other, the younger generations showed a preference for discount department stores (such as Target, for example) while older consumers’ preferred traditional department stores (such as J.C. Penney).
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