Holiday season or, better yet, "holiday e-season". According to analysts' forecasts, the last two months of 2018 should mark a net difference between the growth rate of physical and online distribution. With very respectable numbers. According to Adobe's sime, this year's e-commerce sales are expected to increase by 14.8% compared to 2017, reaching $ 124.1 billion. Which means that about one dollar in every six would be spent on online commerce.
It would be a new record, which brings with it new indicators. For Adobe, voice procurement purchases are on the rise, with 21% of consumers saying they plan to reorder frequently purchased items and 17% of unique store pickup orders using their voice activated devices.
Many more consumers will stay at home on Thanksgiving, compared to the 2017 holiday season. On that occasion, sixty percent of them did not make purchases in stores: in 2016 it was forty percent. Online Thanksgiving sales, on the other hand, are expected to increase by 16.5%, reaching 3.3 billion dollars.
Cyber Monday is destined to become "the biggest and fastest growing online shopping day of the year", with an increase of 17.6% and total sales of $ 7.7 billion.
The four days from Thanksgiving (Thursday 22 November), Black Friday (Friday 23 November) and Cyber Monday (Monday 26 november) will be decisive for the sector: almost one dollar in five (23.4 billion dollars, 19% of total retail sales) will be captured by e-commerce.
Return traffic is likely to increase, expected at 18% more than last year.
The omnichannel approach will be amply rewarded by the holiday season. According to John Copeland, Adobe's marketing manager, "the possibility of picking up orders placed online in the store within a few hours cannot be underestimated."
At this moment, the level of confidence in the United States is positive. According to Berkeley Research Group, consumers feel their own financial situation is better in 42% of cases, unchanged in 41% and worse in 17%.
Attention must be paid to margins, however. Morgan Stanley analysts see that cost pressures are persisting (promotions, transport and labour) and may lead to incremental margins that are not encouraging.