Forrester Research Inc has recently released their latest report about what they believe this year’s holiday season will bring. Their estimates predict a total spend of $129 billion, which would be a 12% increase over what we saw in 2016.
This growth rate is slightly down from what we saw between 2015 and 2016, which showed 14% growth rate. A 12% growth in spending is still a very good rate, and in line with what we’ve seen in many years. Of course, in 2012-2014 we saw 17, 15, and 16% growth rates, which has ‘spoiled’ some people to expect a much higher growth rate. Given that this growth is significantly outpacing inflation, however, it is resulting in many new opportunities for brands and marketers.
The report also found that the amount of money being spent online will reach $129 Billion, a jump from $115 billion in 2016.
Fiona Swerdlow, who is an analyst with Forrester, said, “In the US, retailers are carefully planning for maximum return throughout the scant four and a half weeks between Thanksgiving and December 25 this year. We’ll see marketing crescendos around Black Friday and Cyber Week again – but, as in recent years, retailers will start rolling out holiday campaigns much earlier in November.”
While the holiday shopping ‘season’ is generally seen to be just between Thanksgiving and Christmas, marketers need to watch carefully when people are actually spending. A prediction from Salesforce found that approximately 50% of holiday shopping is completed by December 3rd, which is very early in the ‘season.’ By December 15th, 80% of all holiday shopping is generally completed.
Planning marketing and advertising campaigns around this data can help make a big difference in how much of this massive amount of money a given marketer is going to bring in.