Three Lessons for Retailers from the Holiday Shopping Season

January 25, 2019 Posted by - Chief Marketing Officer

The 2018 holiday season is a wrap, and there are many lessons for retailers to apply to their 2019 plans. With overall holiday sales up 1.6% year-over-year from 2017 to 2018, here are some of the biggest takeaways for retailers looking to keep the momentum going well into the New Year.

1. Focus on convenience

U.S. online holiday shopping had a record-breaking season, and many traditional Brick & Mortars benefited from this trend by driving sales online. While in-store spend remained relatively flat, their online and mobile properties (think Walmart.com, Target.com, Costco.com) saw a 3.1% year-over-year increase in holiday sales. Brick & Mortar retailers should continue to play up their online channels while also emphasizing convenience for their physical locations: the hands-on experience and peace of mind when receiving your items on time and in one piece.

2. Make procrastinating easy

Retailers may be kicking off their sales earlier and earlier, but procrastination is still on the rise. Customers who rushed to finish their holiday shopping between Black Friday and Christmas had a major impact—both in-store and online. For online retailers in particular, Black Friday/Cyber Monday was more important in 2018 vs. the previous year, and continuing to offer quick-turn shipping brought them another final push of last-minute shoppers. Regardless of the season or holiday, appeal to procrastinators by highlighting store hours, inventory assurance tools, and shopping guides. Win more online sales by offering express shipping.

3. Win the hearts of animal lovers

Many shoppers spoiled their furry friends this holiday season. Pet retailers saw an increase of 7% in year-over-year holiday sales—one of the biggest increases of any category—beating out traditional holiday categories like children’s toys & apparel and department stores. Now with millennials as the biggest pet owning generation, we expect the trend of spending on the four-legged family members is here to stay (pun absolutely intended). Retailers can fetch more of this growing spend by providing quality products geared towards pets and pet lovers alike.

Want to put these insights into action? Contact us today to learn how Cardlytics Direct can help you identify likely buyers and drive incremental sales both in-store and online.