Mobile Projected to Drive Retail Revenue This Holiday Season
It looks like mobile will be the biggest Christmas present retailers will get this holiday season, according to recently relased survey findings from personalized customer experience solutions provider Baynote and e-commerce consulting firm the e-tailing group. One in three retailers forecast that mobile will drive more than 10 percent of their total holiday revenue this year.
Other findings from the 2013 Holiday Predictions survey include the following:
- 53 percent of respondents expect mobile transactions to account for a significant part of holiday revenue;
- 38 percent believe mobile will drive renewed in-store interest that will lead to increased revenue; and
- mobile's momentum heading into the holiday season is in stark contrast to social media, which 84 percent of respondents see as having little or no impact on sales.
"The survey demonstrates that retailers are expecting to benefit from mobile investments made in the weeks and months leading up to the holiday season," said Dan Darnell, vice president of marketing and product for Baynote, in a company press release. "By using mobile as a tool to drive discovery, in-store purchases and overall customer experience, retailers will increase customer connectivity and be able to provide information and incentives that will encourage customers to complete transactions and engage with the brand post-sale.”
The survey of 77 U.S. retailers with annual revenue ranging from less than $20 million to more than $5 billion also found that retailers are cautiously optimistic about the upcoming holiday season, with 60 percent forecasting growth in excess of 10 percent for revenue. The majority of survey respondents expect a slow start to the season, however, with increased momentum throughout late November and December. They also predict that e-commerce will continue to steal market share from retail stores as the season progresses, but mobile’s influence will drive renewed store interest for omnichannel retailers.
The survey also revealed that holiday 2013 will be a promotion-centric season. Retailers plan to use flash sales, buy-one-get-one free offers and free shipping at select times throughout the holiday season. And while 30 percent of retailers will begin promotions prior to Oct. 1, more than 40 percent will wait until early November to get started.
“While retailers have expressed cautious optimism for the 2013 holiday season, that optimism hinges on the ability to drive sales through strategically timed promotions in the fourth quarter,” said Lauren Freedman, president, e-tailing group, in the Baynote press release. “Retailers have made aggressive yet realistic goals for the season and, as a result, all eyes will be on bottom-line performance.”