The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association representing an industry that includes more than 3.6 million establishments, predicts that 2011 holiday sales* will increase 2.8 percent over last year. Using several economic indicators including consumer confidence, consumer credit, disposable personal income and previous monthly retail sales releases, the NRF concluded that holiday sales would be average this year, reaching a projected $465.6 billion in the US market.
“Retailers are optimistic that a combination of strong promotions and lean inventory levels will help them address consumer caution this holiday season,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
Prepare for 2011 Holiday Sales
In anticipation of the holiday increase in consumer shopping, NRF estimates that retailers will hire between 480,000 and 500,000 seasonal workers. As brick-and-mortar retailers prepare for the upcoming holiday season, it’s important that online retailers ready their site for the holiday demand.
Consumers are shopping early and looking for deals. Know your customer. They’re researching online to find out more information on products and comparing prices. Make sure your customers know about any specials or promotions. Send email announcements to your customer list and keep them informed. Consider offering something special to your loyal customers, perhaps Free Shipping. Offer coupons for special products, or for a limited time only. Give your customers a reason to shop with you, and make it easy for them to share their finds with their peers. Implement social media shares on your website.
2011 Holiday Sales
Holiday sales are predicted to increase over last year, but not significantly. Consumers have a lot of options, and are spending time online researching products. Present your merchandise well with detailed images and descriptions. Make the buying process easy for your customers.
* NRF defines “holiday sales” as retail industry sales in the months of November and December.