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2018 Holiday Season Expectations: Could Tariffs Halt Spending or Will Consumers Ready Their Wallets?

October 4, 2018 Jeff Meola

It’s not time for consumers to focus on holiday shopping just yet, but retailers have already been analyzing the market. With tariffs in place and mobile commerce on the rise, what will the holiday shopping season look like this year?

When and How Much Consumers Will Buy this Holiday Season

Retailers are expecting to pull in more than $1.1 trillion this holiday season, which lasts from November until January, a growth of 5-5.6% from last year’s numbers.

A new report from Salesforce predicts nearly half of all holiday shopping will occur during Cyber Week, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday, a 21% growth from last year. The rest of holiday shopping will continue gradually through January.

Online Holiday Shopping Enhanced with Mobile Holiday Season Spending Online Shopping

Online Holiday Shopping Enhanced with Mobile

E-commerce sales are expected to reach $128 to $134 billion during this year’s holiday season, a 17-22% increase from last year, according to the Deloitte forecast.

And more consumers will shop online this year than ever before. Bazaarvoice reported that with 89% of consumers shopping for the holidays online, 56% buy more than half of their gifts digitally and 30% of consumers say they will shop online more this year than last year.

Plus, during this holiday season, mobile will be the desired avenue for 68% of e-commerce traffic, up 19% from last year.

In-Store Holiday Shopping Provides Festive Experience

While consumers have been gravitating toward online shopping, 42% of holiday shoppers go to stores specifically for the ambiance. Many consumers feel the holiday season won’t be complete without meeting Santa Claus, listening to holiday tunes or browsing classic window displays.

Tariffs Won’t Stop Holiday Shoppers this Season

Tariffs Won’t Stop Holiday Shoppers this Season

With the government’s new proposed tariffs on Chinese imports, a wave of nerves impacted the holiday market, but most retailers aren’t likely to raise prices until 2019.

eMarketer predicts retailers will keep prices low through the holiday season to encourage sales, but this could be the last of low prices on imports from China. For example, the National Retail Federation predicts an increase of 23% on TVs and an increase of 25% on apparel come 2019.

Get ready to hang the lights and spread holiday cheer this season, because the holiday market will be booming, whether it’s online or in-store.


Reimagining your marketing win?

Contact Digital Media Solutions today to vamp up your holiday campaigns.

About the Author

Jeff Meola

Jeff Meola is the Consumer Insights & Marketing Analytics Director at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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