Inside Outdoor Magazine - Fall 2018

Inside Outdoor | FALL 2018 34 In-Season By Martin Vilaboy The Tale of TwoHolidays 2018 Holiday Forecast & Gift Guide I n some ways, the traditional holi- day season can be broken into two distinct periods. At a time when the two poles of retail – physical and online – are blend- ing into omni-channel, holiday shopping, for its part, is dividing into the very-early-to-early shopping pe- riod and late-to-last-minute purchasing. The early part of holiday is domi- nated by the “Cyber” days and their continued explosion in e-commerce, m- commerce and online browsing. Then, at a certain point in the season (albeit later and later), shipping becomes an is- sue and anxiety sets in over getting that right gift in hand before the big party. That’s when traffic starts shifting to physical stores. Indeed, outside of Decem- ber 15 (the third Saturday of December), all of the expected top five shopping days of the 2018 holiday season, according to ShopperTrak, come either very early – 1. Black Friday (Nov. 23) and 5. Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) – or come very late – 2. Super Sat- urday (Dec. 22) and 4. Sunday before Christmas (Dec. 23). As for the early period, Salesforce estimates that 40 percent of holiday e- commerce revenue this year will occur during “Cyber Week.” In other words, nearly half of holiday season e-shop- ping could take place in just four days. Online sales are expected to increase somewhere between 15 percent and 22 percent year over year, according to the usual cast of analyst firms. That compares to the roughly 17 percent growth experienced in 2017. “The anticipated growth in holiday sales is likely because of solid dispos- able personal income growth, which we expect will be in the 5 to 5.4 percent range. That is above last year’s 4.7 per- cent,” said Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s U.S. economic forecaster. “A strong la- bor market should also aid retail spend- ing, along with elevated consumer con- fidence and a stable personal savings rate of around 7 percent.” Not surprisingly, avoiding crowds (named by 65 percent of respondents to a Bazaarvoice survey) and saving time (62 percent) vied for the leading reason to shop online versus in-store. Consumers who plan to increase holiday spending this year plan to do so because they … Earned more income this year 47% Are more excited about the holiday season this year 37% Will be shopping for more people 35% Feel better about the economy 33% Paid off debt this year 26% Cite receiving more money through tax cuts this year 18% Source: RetailMeNot