Retailers Cautiously Optimistic for 2013 Holiday Season; Mobile and Strategic Promotions Projected to Drive Billions in New Revenue
San Jose, Calif. — August 1, 2013 — Baynote, a leading provider of personalized customer experience solutions, today revealed the results from its inaugural 2013 Holiday Predictions Survey. The survey, conducted in partnership with the e-tailing group, found that retailers are cautiously optimistic, with 60% forecasting growth in excess of 10 percent for 2013 online holiday season revenue, in line with industry forecasts. Not surprisingly, retailers expect mobile to play an increased role in driving sales with minimal contributions from social media. The study surveyed 77 U.S. retailers with annual revenue ranging from less than $20 million to more than $5 billion.
"We wanted to take the pulse of the retail industry as it prepares for the 2013 holiday season and gain a deeper understanding of how marketers plan to increase holiday season revenue and profitability," said Dan Darnell, VP of marketing and product, Baynote. "The inaugural survey provides a benchmark for retailers currently finalizing promotional strategies for the upcoming holiday season, and we hope that the findings are useful to retailers of all sizes."
For detailed analysis of the data and to view the associated infographic, visit: http://www.baynote.com/infographic/retail-perspectives-holiday-2013
Retailers are cautiously optimistic this holiday season:
• Thirty-eight percent of respondents project an 11 to 20 percent year-over-year increase in sales, with 22 percent predicting an increase of 21 percent or more.
• The majority expect a slow start to the season with increased momentum throughout late November and December.
• Respondents predict that online will continue to steal market share from retail stores as the season progresses, but mobile's influence will drive renewed store interest for omni-channel retailers.
Mobile will drive significant revenue while social continues to underwhelm:
• Fifty-three percent of respondents expect mobile transactions to account for a significant part of holiday revenue.
• Thirty-eight percent believe mobile will drive renewed in-store interest that will lead to increased revenue.
• Mobile's momentum heading into the holiday season is in stark contrast to social media, which 84 percent of respondents see as having little or no impact on sales.
"The survey demonstrates that retailers are expecting to benefit from mobile investments made in the weeks and months leading up to the holiday season," according to Darnell. "By using mobile as a tool to drive discovery, in-store purchases and overall customer experience, retailers will increase customer connectivity and be able to provide information and incentives that will encourage customers to complete transactions and engage with the brand post-sale."
Strategically timed promotions will lead to a promotion-centric season:
• Retailers plan to offer promotions, such as flash sales, buy-one-get-one free offers and free shipping, at selective times throughout the holiday season.
• Thirty percent of retailers will begin promotions prior to October 1; over 40 percent of retailers will wait until early November.
"While retailers have expressed cautious optimism for the 2013 holiday season, that optimism hinges on the ability to drive sales through strategically timed promotions in the fourth quarter," said Lauren Freedman, president, e-tailing group. "Retailers have made aggressive yet realistic goals for the season, and as a result, all eyes will be on bottom-line performance."
Focus on consumer experience is driving investment in SEO/SEM and eCommerce platforms:
• Forty-six percent of retailers continue to make significant investments in SEO and SEM technology.
• Nearly all retailers are investing in enhanced home, category and landing pages while 77 percent invest in enhanced site search capabilities.
• Eighty-one percent of retailers have dedicated resources to upgrade eCommerce platforms in anticipation of the season.
"Retailers are serious about customer experience this year," said Darnell. "The data shows retailers recognize that next-generation eCommerce platforms with capabilities to drive a truly personalized and relevant experience will empower merchandisers to achieve increased engagement, revenue and ultimately lifetime value from improved relationships with customers."
Baynote is a leading provider of personalized customer experience solutions for multi-channel retailers. Using Baynote's patented approach, retailers are able to personalize the consumer shopping experience "in the moment", displaying compelling offers, content and products that increase engagement, conversion and average order value. The Baynote Customer Experience Layer rapidly integrates with existing websites, onsite search, chat or email systems to increase ROI without deep IT involvement or expensive system upgrades. Based in San Jose, Calif., Baynote's personalization solutions are trusted by more than 300 of the world's most well-known brands, including: Bluefly, Crate and Barrel, JCrew, Jockey, 3M. For more information about Baynote, visit http://www.baynote.com.