retail shopping bags with 2019 gold balloons and holiday decor

With Thanksgiving coming later this past November, the holiday shopping window was smaller than usual in 2019. However, this did not stop shoppers from spending! In just a few days, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, countless consumers hit the stores as well as shopped online, generating record numbers in sales. Cyber Monday’s total accumulated to $9.4 billion, with shoppers spending an average of $12 million each minute during peak hours. No one was willing to wait for the deals to end! The shopping frenzy continued into December, so keep reading for an in-depth recap of what went on in retail this past holiday season. 

New In-Store Technology

New retail technology advances were used during the 2019 holiday season to entice more consumers to shop in-store. Modern technology has changed the retail industry for the better and has provided consumers with new experiences while shopping at a store’s physical location. Automated and self-checkouts, mobile wallet payments, and even virtual reality experiences are just a few tech advancements that benefitted shoppers during the 2019 holiday season. Providing a personal experience for each consumer in your store helps to encourage loyalty and increase brand awareness. Consumers within the age range of 18-34 are more likely to use new technologies to save time while shopping. With that being said, 40% of these shoppers spent more money during the holiday season, which means that in-store technology has had a major impact for brick and mortar stores. 

Shopping Online & Picking Up in Store

Since the holiday shopping season started later than usual, consumers who are labeled as last-minute or procrastinators fully utilized the option for shopping online and picking up in-store. Target CEO Brian Cornell noted that a major trend he noticed during the holiday shopping season was customers being more “comfortable shopping later in the season.” Overall, U.S. retail sales were also stronger in December, thanks to more people putting off their shopping rather than getting it all done in November. For Target specifically, customers choosing the buy online/pick up in store option, curbside pickup, or same-day delivery this November and December increased more than 50%. This retail trend for consumers is not going anywhere! Consumers are becoming more and more attracted to this option as it saves them money on shipping or transportation (pending their pick-up/delivery method of choice) and can be viewed as a sustainable choice (as more shoppers are ‘going green’ when they shop). In-store pick-ups also encourages the shopper to come into the store, potentially leading to additional purchases that benefit the retailer even further. Other retail stores are following the same trend, including Kohls, Best Buy, Nordstrom, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Smartphone Shoppers

Consumers are shopping more frequently on their smartphones, and this was especially relevant during the 2019 holiday season. According to Adobe’s 2019 Holiday Shopping Trends report, smartphones attributed to 84% of the holiday season’s e-commerce growth. Consumers spent more than $50 billion while shopping on their smartphone devices during the 2019 holiday season! At the same time, an estimated 50% of smartphone consumers leave their virtual shopping carts, compared to 33% of desktop consumers. Regardless, an increase in consumers’ shopping and purchase activity on their smartphones is not just a fleeting trend – it is the new norm. It is safe to say that nearly all consumers have a smartphone or know someone with one, making it the most accessible shopping device that benefits both shoppers and the retailers they are buying from. 

Amplify Your Retail Impact in 2020 with SPAR

It is worth paying attention to the record-breaking numbers and insights into consumer behavior trends during the 2019 holiday season so you can further boost and amplify your stores’ impact in the retail industry for the new year – 2020! We want you to utilize this information to be ready for the next big holiday season and stay ahead of your competitors. With extensive retail expertise, SPAR proudly provides a wide range of retail merchandising services, including assembly & installation, merchandising solutions, programmatic services, and store sets & remodels, so your retail store can keep up with the latest trends and consumer behavior patterns. Please contact us today so we can work together and boost your retail store to the next level.