Despite a series of US retail brand foreclosures and store shutterings nationwide in 2018, research firm eMarketer predicts the biggest holiday shopping season ever in America. The firm projects that retail sales will surpass the $1 trillion (£760 billion) mark this Christmas shopping season, surely buoyed by a massive Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Of course, the reason for this sharp, 6% growth year-over-year – defined as November 1 through December 31 – can be largely credited to relatively low unemployment, solid income growth and increased consumer confidence, the eMarketer study concludes.
As you may know, this year hasn’t been pretty for legacy retailers in the US, with both Sears and Toys ‘R’ Us confronted with bankruptcy. Naturally, a lot of the money thrown around in brick-and-mortar stores has been redirected toward online retailers, namely Amazon.
While e-commerce is largely driving this sharp growth, eMarketer predicts an uptick for traditional storefronts as well – to the tune of 4.4% compared to last year. The firm went so far as to predict that these stores will be ‘bright spot’ for the industry this year, CNBC reports.
It’s all about shopping from anywhere
That’s sizable upward momentum in an environment that’s only growing more and more digital, and a red flag pointing to possibly more deals that are exclusive to physical retail stores than in years past.
However, e-commerce sales are expected by eMarketer to spike by 16.6% this year, projected to gobble up an impressive 12.3% of the total sales – digital or otherwise. That will amount to more than $123 billion (£93.4 billion) in e-commerce retail sales.
So as to double down on this, physical and online retailers may follow Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday initiative to include free shipping purchase minimums during the season, as eMarketer predicts.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be the next major battles in the ongoing war between physical and digital retailers, and it’s shaping up to be a losing one for those in the meatspace. Regardless, we’ll be there to help you revel in the spoils of war which, in this case, will be sweet discounts on the most coveted gadgets of 2018.
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