Online sales will account for around $144 billion of retail transactions between November and December 2017, as total retail sales will amount to $682 billion, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).
The NRF said that low joblessness and high consumer sentiment would result in an increase of up to 4% compared to last year’s figures. The trade group attributed the first-time use of a range for percentage growth to the recent spate of hurricanes in southern U.S.
NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz said that e-commerce would increase at a faster pace than traditional sales, which indicates the continually rising trend of online shopping. For online retailers, the forecast lets them prepare ahead of the anticipated surge.
A multi-lender platform, for instance, allows customers to have a higher chance of approval for a loan if they are unable to pay immediately with cash. Businesses should provide this option to consumers, as they “continue to do the heavy lifting in supporting our economy,” according to Kleinhenz. While brick-and-mortar stores’ sales would grow at a slower pace, they have been doing better in adapting to online strategies, said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.
The impact of the recent hurricanes would affect sales in the second half of 2017, yet the NRF believes that “a longer shopping season and strong consumer confidence” will be the key to a better holiday season this year, Shay noted.
The forecast also reflects the stable economic growth and overall performance of the retail industry.
It also represents another year of steady growth, as the last decline took place in 2008 when sales fell 4.6%.
The expected increase in retail sales indicates a brighter economy in the near future. For businesses, how do you intend to take advantage of the higher retail sales in 2017?