Retailers are optimistic about the 2019 holiday season, despite its brevity.
According to the new edition of the annual Adobe Analytics Holiday Retailer Insights survey, 61% of 403 surveyed U.S. retailers with annual revenues over $500,000 expect the holiday season to be better than 2018. However, 41% of respondents are concerned about the shorter season this year.
In response to there being six fewer days between Black Friday and Christmas in 2019 than in 2018, three-quarters of respondents plan to start sales earlier due. Almost eight in 10 (78%) plan to increase customer communications, while 62% will send holiday-specific emails, texts, and social posts. Another 62% of respondents agree that social media influencer campaigns are becoming an important marketing channel.
More than half (55%) of respondents offer buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) services. This includes 64% of respondents with annual revenue over $10 million and 48% of respondents with annual revenue less than $10 million. Forty-eight percent of larger respondents and 45% of smaller respondents say BOPIS represents a significant portion of their sales.
Only 7% of respondents currently use voice technology as a sales tool. However, 62% re investigating or plan to use voice technology for sales in the future, while 31% don’t see value in voice. Fifty-six percent of respondents leveraging voice-enabled sales track customer usage and results.
Examining retailer views toward online holiday sales, the survey found that 94% of respondents agree having a physical presence gives a competitive edge over online-only retailers. Top concerns about online holiday sales include staying price competitive (40%), shipping on time (23%), converting visits (22%), and competing on perks such as free shipping and driving site traffic (20% each).
Other interesting statistics include:
• 56% of respondents are creating experiential shopping (mock showrooms, augmented reality, other additive elements) for the holidays.
• 66% say loyalty programs provide net benefit to their business.
• 73% say company apps are becoming an increasingly important sales driver.