In case you missed the news, REI has announced that it will be closing its doors on Black Friday. The outdoor lifestyle brand is urging people to get outside on this day, but also reminds its customers that, most importantly, the website is always open. Holiday eCommerce sales are predicted to reach record heights this season (up 6-8% compared to last year) as more and more customers are turning to their computers and phones for shopping. While this effort follows closely with REI’s brand, have they secretly cracked the code to making more money this holiday season?
Many signs are pointing to the fact that eCommerce is going to outpace traditional retail this season. Let’s take a look at a few of the most important ones:
1. Apple is creating an eCommerce section in their App Store
Apple is launching this new eCommerce shopping category this month (the apps were previously lumped in with ‘lifestyle’ apps), just in time for Black Friday shopping. Let’s be real, if the golden child of tech is preparing for the holidays by featuring eCommerce apps in their store, we all should take notice. 54% of consumers plan on doing their holiday shopping during their free time, such as during breakfast or on the train, which creates the importance for the access of these apps.
2. FedEx expects a record number of deliveries this season
The mother of all package delivery companies is expecting to handle 317 million shipments between Black Friday and Christmas Eve, which is an increase of 12.4% since last year. This is no small prediction – FedEx is realizing the potential for eCommerce this holiday season, and is preparing for it accordingly.
3. Shoppers on smartphones spent 233% more in the third quarter of 2015 than in the same period last year.
233%! And this isn’t even the holiday season yet! That’s no joke – clearly shoppers are invested in mobile, and likely will continue this trend into the rest of this year and the holidays. So while you should definitely be preparing for eCommerce, don’t forget about mobile in your plans as well.
Overall, all signs are pointing to this holiday season being one of the biggest ones yet for eCommerce. Will other retailers follow the REI Black Friday concept and solely let their customers shop online? We’ll keep this one a secret between us for now.