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A Data Lover’s Guide to the 2017 Holiday Shopping Season

With approximately $680 billion in holiday sales projected for November and December, it’s the most wonderful time of the year for the retail industry. Holiday spending projections are up in 2017 with consumers saying they will spend almost $1000 on average this year.

Where are most shoppers making their purchases? In-store or online? National Retail Federation (NRF) data shows that for the first time, online is the most popular shopping destination with 59% of consumers searching for the perfect gift from the comfort of their own home (or smartphone).

When do most consumers shop? What are they buying? How many are using their smartphones - or even work computers (say it isn’t so)? Using data from the NRF’s Annual Holiday Consumer Survey, all the answers can be found in the data-filled dossier below.

Click here to open the MicroStrategy Demo Library, where you can access a variety of publicly available demo dossiers including the Holiday Shopping dossier. Once you open the dossier, you can use the table of contents icon in the top left navigation to view:

  1. Holiday retail sales and the growth from 2002 – 2017 plus seasonal hiring data.
  2. Shopper analysis including who people buy for, a fascinating look at what men purchase compared to women, and when people shop. Did you know 11% of consumers do their holiday shopping before September?
  3. Thanksgiving weekend and Black Friday analysis including in-store and online shopping by age groups.
  4. Cyber Monday data including when people shop and from where. Did you know that 11 million people used their work computer in 2016 to do holiday shopping (or at least 11 million people admitted to it)?

Forecasting the Future of Retail

Beyond holiday sales, retailers are setting their sights on digital transformation initiatives to drive new customer value and revenue. Along with improved in-store, online and mobile customer experiences, 79% of retailers are focusing on better using data to gain a complete picture of the consumer, notes the PwC Total Retail Survey 2017. In the survey, 39% ranked the ability to turn customer data into intelligent and actionable insight as one of their greatest challenges.

Related initiatives revolve around the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning which will inform and assist retailers with pricing, placement, inventory, cross-selling, location-based marketing and a myriad of other efforts to drive more personalized, proactive and predictive customer experiences. According to the Retail Systems Research report The Internet of Things in Retail: Great Expectations, 80% of retailers worldwide say IoT will drastically change the way companies do business in the next three years.

Want a look at how innovative brands are using data to transform their business? Watch this video to see how top global retailer Coach maintains a 360-degree view of their business with powerful reporting, in-store mobile apps, and self-service analytics.

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