Retailers, Get Ready: ThinkNow Research Shares How Shift to Online Will Affect Holiday Sales

Posted by: Jeff Fromm

Thanks to the influence of Millennials and Gen Z, the customer journey in today’s market keeps evolving. Rather than stopping by a brick-and-mortar store for their purchases, consumers are accessing virtually any product or service they need from a smartphone. When an item is one-click away, why bother with the additional time needed to go to a physical store?

This is what we refer to as “The Amazon Effect.” This is the impact the digital marketplace has on the traditional business model regarding consumer expectations and the new competitive landscape. Consumers now expect their path-to-purchase to be both frictionless and immediate, regardless of the product or industry in question. This has in turn raised the status quo for a brand relative to both direct competition and indirect alternatives.

As culturally-integrated market research agency (focusing on Hispanic, African-American and Asian consumers) ThinkNow Research shares in its latest report, ThinkNow Retail:

Online retailers like Amazon have made it all too easy for consumers to shop on the go or at home, without the hassle of standing in line or camping out overnight. And for Hispanics, still reeling from changes in immigration policies, shopping online can remove a potential barrier: fear. The result: the most significant decline in brick and mortar purchases among the Total Market over last year, especially among Hispanic and Asian consumers, and a bump in online sales across the board.

Based on this study, ThinkNow has several important insights for marketers to know regarding this shift to online and how it will affect holiday shopping, including:

Hispanic and African-American holiday shopping is on the rise

Three-in-10 consumers say they will be spending more during the upcoming holiday season compared to last year. Hispanics and African-Americans are the most likely to spend more, with 33 percent of Hispanics and 39 percent of African-Americans planning on increasing their spend.

Consumers across generations have more money to spend on gifts this year

Consumers have a bit more cash in their pockets thanks to a decrease in the unemployment rate and an atmosphere of deep discounts among retailers.

Amazon will see the most holiday action – but online and brick-and-mortar partnerships will win big

Brick-and-mortar brands see where the future is heading and are partnering with the resources they need to stay relevant, which is online storefronts. However, online giants also realize that a lot of consumers still shop in-store. Partnerships will prove to be key for both.

Read more here.

About Jeff Fromm

Although not a Millennial as defined by his age, Jeff Fromm is the Millennial Marketing Guy. Jeff is President of FutureCast, a marketing consultancy that specializes in Millennial trends, and is a contributing writer at...See Jeff's full bio.