Supply chain issues loom, rampant inflation, and Covid is still a threat. But people still want to make their loved ones feel special, and experiences are in this year. Consumers appear poised to give their credit cards a workout once again.
Adobe and Statista forecast that online shopping will increase by 2.5 percent this season over 2021. E-commerce sales in the U.S. totaled more than $185 billion in 2020, up $45B from 2019 and setting the hi-mark again. Last year, retail e-commerce holiday sales in the U.S. reached about $213.
Cyber Monday, at more than $10 billion, is expected to be the biggest shopping day this season.
The quality of the online shopping experience is more important than ever. Product descriptions, accurate pricing, availability, and delivery time have never been more vital. Even customers who go to the store typically check online first.
Guest Experiences Are In this Year
However, many retailers need help to provide it. Complicating matters are understaffing and items that are not in stock. A rising inflation rate also puts a damper on this season and may curtail some of the numbers and experiences. That said, shoppers historically go for the things they want when the clock starts running out.
“Understanding why people are gravitating away from retail work or leaving their employer in search of a better alternative is the first step toward fixing the workplace experience…, ” says Rob Klitsch. He is the director of the retail, hospitality, and food service practice in a vast UKG report. “Employee experience determines customer experience, so to improve the latter, retailers must address their people’s needs first.”
However you shop, take your time, and shop safely. Make sure to use reputable retailers or check out the Google Transparency Report if you’re not sure. Security experts recommend simple best practices each year, including the following:
- Strong passwords – not your name and birthdate, or address
- Utilize two-factor authentication
- Read reviews
- Use anti-malware
- Be suspicious of low-resolution images, poor grammar, and misspellings
- Look for contact info on websites
Experiences are Trending
Esquire Magazine recently published an extensive collection of gift ideas with that in mind. Pre-boxed, high-end ready-to-prepare dinners make the list. A stay at a luxury hotel or spa makes for memories and shared experiences. Similarly, air balloon rides, wine-tasting kits, and true crime show board games are other off-the-best suggestions.
In conclusion, make it easy on yourself and have fun shipping. Make sure your items are in stock. Last-minute items are sometimes more likely available at the big box retailers. Make it even easier by having it delivered and tracking it. It’s like getting the gifts twice, as long as none of the recipients see it coming.
We wish you safe shopping and happy holidays from all of us at LMS and GEM.