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Happy holidays: Five retail trends for the holiday season

Happy holidays:
Five retail trends for the holiday season



It is said to be the most wonderful time of the year. In the retail sector, that may or may not be true, but either way, the run-up to the end-of-year holiday season is definitely the busiest. 

What will be shaping the 2019 festive season? To better understand how shoppers will be behaving and purchasing this year, we have curated some of the most interesting shopping statistics and predictions for what to expect. 


Omnichannel wonderland

According to the native ad platform Cardlytics, consumers who shop both in-store and online with a retailer spend twice as much during the holiday period, compared with those who only use a single channel. The same study concluded that these omnichannel shoppers account for only 10% of the current retail customer base. 

This means that there is a huge untapped potential to increase customer engagement and grow revenue!


Only 10% of retail customers shop omnichannel — yet.


Implementing an omnichannel payment platform will enable you to offer a new range of services that can drastically improve the customer experience, and to build a coherent, aligned experience for buyers across multiple platforms. 


Easy checkout tops shoppers’ wish lists

In its 2019 Global Shopper Survey, iVend Retail asked global consumers which aspects of retail shopping experiences they value most. The top response, selected by 83% of respondents, was “Quick and easy checkout”, far ahead of “Earning rewards or loyalty points” (59%) and “Free or easy returns” (57%). 


83% of shoppers value easy checkout most


Conversely, navigating crowds and queues tops the list of things people hate about holiday shopping. So what kind of in-store strategies can you initiate to alleviate grievances around getting assistance or lining up to pay at peak shopping times, and make spirits bright again?

According to iVend, a whopping 84% of shoppers will look for sales associates with mobile technology to assist them, and the primary service they want from these associates is checkout and payment processing. Self-checkout stations are also popular: for 44% of shoppers, this is the kind of technology that makes them want to shop with a retailer.  

To combat queues and keep holiday shoppers happy, look for a flexible payment platform with innovative checkout options.


Secure the last-minute sales 

According to Google, 70% of shoppers still have shopping to do in the last week before Christmas. And when shipping cutoff dates are getting too close for comfort, last-minute shoppers turn to physical stores. 

Criteo reports that last year, 73% of purchases in the week preceding Christmas happened in-store in the US. In EMEA, the in-store share of purchases reached up to 87% during the same time frame.


70% of us still have shopping to do the last week before Christmas


But that doesn’t mean that these last-minute shoppers put away their digital tools. In fact, searches for “where to buy” tend to peak on the last Friday before Christmas. Shoppers are turning to their mobile phones to search for nearby stores, opening hours, and increasingly also for product availability. 

Retailers that are able to provide the information buyers are looking for, such as local inventory, will be well positioned to attract these buyers to their stores and secure these last-minute sales.


The magic of click & collect

One of the most interesting holiday shopping trends is the booming popularity of click & collect fulfilment.

According to Adobe Analytics, click-and-collect orders grew 50% during the 2018 holiday season. Salesforce predicts that during the last five days of the 2019 season, retailers who offer in-store pickup of online orders will see a 28% higher revenue share compared to omnichannel retailers who don’t provide this option. 

Salesforce also expects merchants who offer click & collect to attract 48% more active digital shoppers to their sites in the last five days before Christmas Eve, compared to those who don’t. 


Retailers offering click-and-collect will see a 28% higher revenue share


Click & collect benefits both consumers and merchants. Consumers receive their items faster, avoid the risk of late delivery, and can enjoy a piece of the holiday store experience. Merchants save on shipping costs and get an extra opportunity to upsell: once they are inside the store, shoppers coming to pick up merchandise will often make additional purchases. 

The takeaway: Choose a payment platform that makes it easy to implement click & collect and other omnichannel services.


‘Tis the season for returns

  • The shopping season is not quite over once the holidays roll around. Returns are a fact of life year-round, but especially so after the end-of-year holidays, when unwanted or ill-fitting gifts find their way back to retailers. The American National Retail Federation expects as much as 11% to 13% of all holiday purchases to be returned this year. 


Up to 13% of all holiday purchases may be returned


Consumers often consider returns as the most time-consuming and unpleasant task associated with retail shopping. But by making the process as painless as possible for them, you can delight them and win their loyalty. 

With a consolidated payment platform, you can easily activate services like Click & Return. Customers who have ordered and paid online can return items to stores without having to go through a second payment interaction: the customer will receive the refund via the initial transaction number.


Take full advantage of omnichannel possibilities with WL One Commerce Hub

Holiday shoppers don’t think about channels, they just shop. Their pre-shopping research and buying journeys are fluid processes where they skip between online stores, social media, review sites, physical stores, mobile apps and whatnot along the path to purchase. 

As a retailer, the onus is on you to deliver the right experience at the right time. And this is only possible if you are able to connect the dots of your customers’ purchase history across channels, and gain a real understanding of their behavior and needs.

Worldline’s end-to-end payment orchestrator solution, WL One Commerce Hub, helps you do just that. By leveraging cutting-edge tokenization technology and consolidating all your transaction data in one place, WL One Commerce Hub enables you to

  • unlock powerful market insights,
  • identify buyers across channels,
  • and deliver hyper-relevant offers and experiences wherever your customers are.

Ready to deliver on customer experience this holiday and beyond? Send a line to to book a free consultation with one of our cheerful omnichannel payment experts.