Double Digit Growth Forecast For Online Holiday Retail Sales

According to the NRF (National Retail Federation), Retail non-store sales are likely to grow by 10 percent, while Deloitte has projected a growth of 19 percent for the holiday season. According to Internet Retailer, “Non-store sales are expected to increase 7-10 percent year over year to as much as USD 117 billion for the 2016 holiday season of November and December, the National Retail Federation said Tuesday. Non-store sales are those made mostly online but include sales via phone and catalog. Online holiday sales increased 9 percent during the 2015 holiday season, beating the NRF’s 6-8 percent projection.”

Deloitte’s Retail and Distribution practice expects total holiday sales to exceed USD 1 trillion, representing a 3.6 to 4 percent increase in November through January holiday sales (excluding motor vehicles and gasoline) over last year’s shopping season. Additionally, Deloitte forecasts a 17 to 19 percent increase in e-commerce sales, reaching USD 96 to USD 98 billion during the 2016 holiday season.

In addition to online sales growth of 17-19 percent, as projected by Deloitte, making the e-commerce sales reach USD 96-98 Billion, digital interactions—meaning the use of desktop, laptops, tablets and smartphones—will influence 67 percent, or USD 661 billion, of retail store sales this holiday season.

Digital influence includes, for example, shoppers researching products before buying them in stores, consumers ordering online and picking up merchandise in a store or a store associate placing an online order for an out-of-stock item and shipping it to a customer’s home.

According to Rod Sides, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail and distribution sector leader, “Retail competition won’t come from the big box down the street or major e-commerce players,” Sides noted. “It’s likely to be the small and midsized retailers that focus on niche products and experiences. This group has been collectively stealing share from large, traditional retailers to the tune of $200 billion in annual sales over the last five years. The retailers that compete on differentiated products and experiences should be better positioned to outperform those who try to compete on low-price, value and convenience, or continue to rely on conventional sales events and promotions.”

“The trend to watch is the way that online, mobile and store channels influence each other,” says Rod Sides. “Large e-commerce players and digital platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest are shaping what people think a great shopping experience is—a fast, highly-curated assortment with access to visuals, information and buying sources. Since these bigger platforms are more connected to the customer than the tradition retailer, it is important that they are part of retailers’ digital marketing campaigns this holiday season,” he says.