The 2016 Holiday Shopping Season Broke Records, Especially E-Commerce

credit card processingThe holiday season is a notably hot time for sales, and this year was no different. Compared to 2015, there were significantly high sales during the holiday shopping rush, particularly for e-commerce.

Customer Growth Partners originally forecasted a 4.1% sales gain, but then upped their prediction to 4.9%, or $637 billion. According to research from Adobe, online sales totaled $91.7 billion, increasing 11% from the previous year.

The National Retail Foundation should have a more concrete number sometime this month.

While traditional brick and mortar store sales did rise during the holiday season as well, they did so at significantly slower rates. Given the ever-increasing popularity of online shopping, these stores could be in for some trouble in 2017 if they do not invest in online credit card payment processing and other e-commerce platforms.

So, by the numbers, how stark is the difference between in-store and online shopping?

  1. About 55% of shoppers say that online reviews influence their buying decisions. So regardless of where consumers are physically purchasing their items, they are still relying on online stores to research their purchases. In these cases, online stores have the upper hand, since making a purchase is more streamlined online.
  2. The weekend following Thanksgiving is always a busy shopping time. This year, sales began early, some as soon as Thanksgiving Day. From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, 99 million Americans visited stores, while 109 million Americans did their shopping online. While stores like Macy’s and Kohls reported record online sales that period, their in-store sales lagged, causing their overall sales to drop 2.1% compared to the previous year.
  3. According to reports from First Data, overall department store sales fell 4.8% during the crucial 61-day holiday shopping period (November and December). These serious losses have forced major retailers like Sears and Macy’s to shut down some of their store locations. Macy’s alone is planning on laying off at least 10,100 employees.

In order to keep up with online retail giants like Amazon, brands really need to hop on the online train, and adopt the best credit card processing services as well as keep up an online presence. No company is too small for an online store or credit card processing, and these services will only help further your company’s growth.

If you’re interested in small business credit card services and opening up a payment gateway to create better conversion rates on your website, contact First Direct Financial today.

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