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US e-commerce expected to grow 25 percent this holiday season

By Andrea ByrneOct 12, 2020

US e-commerce is expected to grow by 25 percent this holiday season as consumers are increasingly spending online, meaning that retailers who have implemented a strong omnichannel strategy are expected to do well this winter.

That’s according to a survey conducted by Engine Insights of 1,004 US respondents for the International Council of Shopping Centre’s (ICSC) Annual Holiday Shopping Intentions Survey.

The ICSC forecasts an overall 1.9 percent year-over-year spending increase with a total spend of 862.2 billion dollars.

94 percent of consumers plan to spend with a mix of online and in-store, as 40 percent of consumers have the desire to see and touch products, 38 percent want to have their items as soon as they purchase them, and 33 percent crave better sales which they hope to find in store.

66 percent of respondents said they are more likely to visit stores once Covid-19 restrictions are put in place.

Due to the pandemic, shoppers plan to shop more from small businesses and 49 percent are expected to contribute to more charitable causes than they have in prior years. 53 percent of consumers are also expected to take advantage of the click-and-collect or pickup options from retailers through November and December.

The survey found discount department stores will be the most-visited type of retailer at 57 percent, followed by traditional department stores at 34 percent and electronic stores at 31 percent.

When choosing where to shop, respondents are expected to be most influenced by prices and promotions (45 percent), variety of products offered (26 percent) and health and safety precautions (22 percent).

The ICSC anticipates that the holiday season will be longer this year, as 77 percent of respondents expect to start shopping earlier than they normally would, with 23 percent of shoppers starting as soon as October.

These shoppers wish to take advantage of the early sales, avoid crowded stores, out-of-stock items and shipping delays. 43 percent of respondents expect shipping and delivery delays to pose challenges throughout the holidays.

Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC, said in a statement: “Forecasting spending and consumer behavior is difficult this year. Legislation around additional stimulus funds as well as changing government mandates resulting from a shift in the virus could significantly alter spending in one direction or another.”

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