The holiday marketing bonanza is in full swing, so it’s time to take out the crystal ball—or snow globe—to see what retail trends are expected for 2013. What hot new toy is going to fly off the shelves faster than Tickle Me Elmo did in 1996? What buying habits can we expect to see from shoppers who have become more budget and tech savvy? With a 24/7 brand presence are there any universal shopping trends, or has holiday shopping become as personalized as the custom photo frame you just bought your Aunt Milly? Here are the top holiday retail trends forecasters have identified:
Black Thursday Is the New Black Friday
The National Retail Federation claims that 41.8 million people went shopping on Thanksgiving Day in 2012. In a bid to maintain a competitive edge, retailers are offering discounts and door-buster deals traditionally associated with Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day. In 2013, consumers will hardly have enough time to recover from their food comas before the mall is open for business, as popular stores like Best Buy, Toys “R” Us and Macy’s are opening their doors anywhere from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
The PS4 and Xbox One
Is the PS4 or Xbox One the must-have item of the holiday season? While these highly anticipated game systems are guaranteed to be hugely popular, chances are neither console will have the top-selling impact of iconic sellers such as Nintendo’s 1991 Game Boy. Sure, the consoles will sell out but there are just too many other tech items (iPhones and tablets to name a few) on the market to make these modern-day consoles the pop culture phenomenon that Game Boy was.
Adobe Digital Index (ADI) expects to see three digital trends emerge in the 2013 holiday season. According to ADI, in-store price checking (showrooming) will become the norm, apps tailored to holiday shopping will see an upsurge and social media will continue to expand as an influence on holiday purchasing. ADI believes marketers can drive holiday sales by delivering highly personalized offers, which include geofencing—a concept/campaign that targets shoppers with deals based on their GPS locations. The one trend that remains consistent from one year to the next is consumers’ desire to find the best possible price.
A Modest Consumer Budget
According to the National Retail Federation, the average holiday shopper will spend $737.95 on gifts, decor, greeting cards and more this holiday season, a 2 percent decrease from the $752.24 that was spent in 2012. Faced with continued economic uncertainty, which includes a slower than expected recovery from the 2008 recession, not to mention concerns about the debt ceiling or another possible government shutdown, shoppers are taking a more conservative approach to spending.
E-Commerce Versus Traditional Commerce
E-commerce provides the convenience and shopping options that many consumers are looking for, and the numbers prove it. In 2013, the average person plans to do 40 percent of shopping online, which will make online holiday sales grow between 13 and 15 percent, or roughly $82 million. While online shopping, obviously, isn’t a new trend, it is one that continues to spike every year, further changing and reshaping the retail landscape.