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2019 Holiday Shopping Retail Trends Pt. 1

Holiday retail sales will increase by 5% in 2019, according to Deloitte’s annual holiday economic forecast. As a retailer, what can your business do to capitalize on the holiday shopping season and make the most of this influx of customers? How can you strengthen your relationship with your customers? In this two-part series, we look at various 2019 holiday shopping retail trends.



A big difference between the 2018 and 2019 holiday shopping seasons is the duration. Due to the variable placement of American Thanksgiving (it falls on the fourth Thursday of November), each year the holiday shopping season can last between 25 and 31 days in the United States. This year, Thanksgiving falls on November 28, which means that the holiday shopping season is six days shorter than it was in 2018, and the shortest since 2013. Consumers and retailers will lose nearly an entire week of shopping time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Many retailers will look to make the most of the shortened holiday season by running promotions earlier than usual and keeping brick-and-mortar stores open extra hours.


  • 20% of all US retail spending takes place during the holiday shopping season. 
  • 68% of shoppers said the compressed season will change the way they shop this year.
  • 70% of consumers say they plan to holiday shop in early December. 
  • 28% plan to start buying gifts sooner than they did in 2018.



Finding the perfect holiday gift–and getting a great deal–is always a top priority for shoppers. Retailers looking to make a difference this holiday season should make it easy for stressed-out shoppers to find holiday deals are promotions, especially during the shortened season. With so much competition out there, a big factor in where a consumer decides to spend is “price.”


  • 55% of retailers will respond to this year’s shortened season by offering bigger discounts. 
  • 34% of customers said they will start looking for deals earlier than they did last year. 
  • 76% of consumers said the price is important or the most important factor in their holiday purchasing decisions. 



Both mobile payments and online shopping continue to grow in popularity, but that doesn’t mean brick-and-mortar locations are irrelevant. According to a survey by Salesforce, every generation, including digital-first Millennials and Generation Z, prefers shopping at a physical store. For many consumers, part of the allure of physical retail stores is in seeing the various holiday decor, finding inspiration for gift ideas, being able to compare prices, and seeing products in person.


To make the most of the holiday season, retailers should combine both channels to provide a seamless shopping experience. 50% of shoppers said that they’ve decided where to buy online based on whether they could pick their orders up in-store. 85% of customers entering a physical store for a pick-up have made additional in-store purchases, and 15% say they do so “frequently.” Brick-and-mortar locations can also increase sales by catering to last-minute holiday shoppers who know they can’t depend on shipping to deliver any gifts they buy online. 




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