We’re almost a month away from one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Black Friday (News - Alert) and Cyber Monday have been some of the most talked about days when it comes to shopping – especially for Holiday gift giving.
With security breaches of the past year behind us and new technologies for mobile payments out – what will the new shopping season bring?
Apple Pay begins today, and a number of retailers are already announcing their support. Home Depot, Target (News - Alert), and a host of other businesses have made everyone aware of the dangers posed to our finances and personal information and the need to remain cautious.
Various reports out are predicting that this year, we’ll see growth in shoppers making purchases as the U.S. economy is reportedly on an uptick – so spending is expected to be greater.
YouGov America and Time Inc. (News - Alert) said its most recent survey of wealthy households found they will spend more on gifts this year along with shoppers across the country by an increase of 8.7 percent. The survey also found that e-commerce sales will surpass purchases made in-store during the season with 45 percent of affluent respondents saying they will be doing most all of their gift buying online. The respondents also said they are likely to also be using their smartphone to help with shopping decisions.
The Consumer Electronics Association (News - Alert) (CEA) also said it expects the 2014 holiday season may see the highest level of consumer spending since it began tracking holiday spending in 1994. These purchases include consumer electronics (CE) and tech like computers, TVs, smartphones and more. It also found that about 67 percent of consumers will be using their smart phones and tablets to do their online shopping.
This move to shopping via the Internet instead of brick and mortar locations has been rising over the years as technologies and capabilities have improved. Not only does it save people the hassle of waiting in long lines, driving to various locations, and finding the product is out of stock on the shelves, but it also offers the chance to look around for discount codes, compare prices and sales with various retailers and even view reviews on specific items so the most informed decision is always being made.
Last year, Mobidia (News - Alert) Technology reported on trends from the shopping that occurred over the Thanksgiving Holiday and on Cyber Monday and found that the usage of mobile shopping applications on Thanksgiving increased by 48 percent with the usage of mobile shopping applications on Black Friday increasing by 86 percent.
People are turning to mobile shopping more and more as retailers are offering sites optimized for use with mobile devices - so it is easy to shop and convenient.
A recent study commissioned by Moxie Software found that 75 percent of respondents preferred to have the option to use live online chat when making a purchase to ask questions instead of having to call a business and wait to speak with a customer service agent.
For shoppers who are browsing sites via mobile devices, they also said they were satisfied with their experiences using live chat via mobile.
Another interesting study that’s out now says half of consumers actually only order Christmas gifts online days before the 25th. I have admittedly done this myself the last few years. The ease of purchasing an eCard and printing it out immediately and the overnight shipping options many retailers push in the days leading up to the Holiday are perfect for us procrastinators or busy workers who just don’t have the time to wait in store lines while everyone on earth is also trying to shop for gifts.
Not only is spending up, but confidence levels are too. According to the eCustomerServiceIndex results from eDigitalResearch and IMRG, Year-on-year comparisons reveal an increase in consumer confidence surrounding Christmas deliveries arriving on time.
Respondents said they felt confident that if they placed their online shopping orders by December 17 that they would arrive on time. Some even saying they could still order up until Dec.20 to get their orders on time for gift giving.
This lays down big shoes for retailers to fill, and offers hope for the many whom are already getting sweaty palms and breaking out in hives thinking about getting all of their holiday shopping done this year. We’re just 65 days away from the big day – you do the math.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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