Holiday trends and predictions 2019: The share of online sales will grow, but consumers still want the option to shop in person (part 4 of 5)

by Scott Spivack •

Online sales accounted for 16.9% of total holiday sales in 2018, a 17.4% increase in market share over the previous year, in a report by Internet Retailer. If trends continue, it’s likely that their share of 2019 holiday sales will be even higher.

Even though ecommerce has reshaped the retail industry and transformed customer expectations on price, selection and delivery times, most consumers still aren’t ready to make a complete transition to online-only shopping. This will be especially true during the holiday, as retailers fight to win over last-minute shoppers and bargain-hunters in a climate of economic pessimism.

In a recent Bizrate Insights survey, only 26% of respondents indicated that they preferred to shop exclusively online, compared to 17% who shop exclusively at brick-and-mortar stores.  44% of respondents preferred an omnichannel experience that gave them the option to shop both online and in-store.

In other words, the majority of shoppers still want the immediacy and convenience that only brick-and-mortar stores can offer, but they’re likely to use digital channels to inform and enhance their purchase decisions. To win over shoppers, retailers should concentrate their best sales and deals in their physical stores and use their digital channels to appeal to early buyers and top-of-funnel shoppers.

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