It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the holiday season! It starts the day after Thanksgiving and continues until New Year’s Day. The holiday season is a time spent with family and friends, purchasing and exchanging gifts, and preparing and enjoying meals together. It’s a time to create new memories and say goodbye to the current year while welcoming the new one and all the possibilities that come with it. In sales, this time of year is often referred to as the in-store shopping season, and for businesses with a brick-and-mortar store, it is definitely the most wonderful and profitable time of the year.
In all the countries where Credico works to help companies grow their customer base and coordinate their sales efforts, here’s a breakdown of what their in-store shopping season may look like.
In-Store Shopping: Canada
- 90% of shoppers in Canada will go holiday shopping this year. (RetailCouncil)
- It is predicted that Canadian shoppers will spend an average of $898 this holiday season. (RetailCouncil)
- According to Retail Insider, 77% of Canadian shoppers plan to purchase their holiday items in shopping centers, 81% at big box stores, and an impressive 54% at small local shops. (Retail Insider)
In-Store Shopping: South Africa
- Last year, 77% of South Africans did the majority of their holiday shopping in-store, and that number is expected to increase in 2023. (Bizcommunity)
- South Africans have resumed their pre-COVID shopping patterns across retailers. (Nielseiniq)
In-Store Shopping: United Kingdom
- 74%, or 1 in 3, of UK holiday shoppers will research their items online before making a purchase. (ThinkWithGoogle)
- 37% plan to start their shopping earlier than years prior. (ThinkWithGoogle)
- Retail sales for the holiday season in Q4 2023 are expected to reach £109.7 billion, which is 50% less than last year. (GlobalData)
- More than a third of UK consumers confirmed inflation will impact their holiday shopping. (Statista)
In-Store Shopping: United States
- Last year, more than 122.7 million Americans visited brick-and-mortar stores during the Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend. (National Retail Federation)
- In the US, 43% of shoppers plan to make their holiday purchases in stores. And 39% plan to start earlier than usual! (Statista, National Retail Federation)
- Almost half of Americans will make their holiday purchases from department stores, 48% from discount stores, and 24% from small businesses. (National Retail Federation)
- Americans will spend an average of $875 this year (National Retail Federation)
During the holiday season, consumers still prefer to shop in stores for their holiday items. In-store shopping allows shoppers to get exactly what they are looking for while minimizing the time and effort it takes to return items bought online. Did you know that the return rate for items ordered online is 30%? In contrast, the return rate for items purchased in brick-and-mortar stores is only 8.89%! It is important to remember that the return process is part of the overall customer experience, which is especially crucial during the holiday shopping season.
With the ongoing battle between online and in-store shopping, ensuring that every customer who enters your store has a consistent and efficient experience will strengthen the relationship between your business and its target customer, whom digital competitors are constantly luring. Moreover, with inflation affecting the consumer dollar, it is an honor for customers to show an interest in your product. The least businesses can do is to ensure they offer the same respect and courtesy by providing an incredible in-store customer experience as a sign of appreciation for their business.
With the surge in e-commerce sales following the COVID-19 pandemic, brick-and-mortar stores can capitalize on this time of year to compete with online retailers and gain an advantage. It is essential to let the industry know that in-person sales are still a profitable business strategy. In-store sales are not going anywhere anytime soon and remain a go-to option throughout the year.