Cracking the Code of Holiday Shopping Trends

Retailers are enhancing their loyalty programs to retain shoppers

From Black Friday to Cyber Monday, we are heading into the heart of what is expected to be a red hot holiday shopping season.

Every year, CBRE tracks trends for the holiday shopping season and recently released its 2018 Holiday Retail Trends Guide.

CBRE’s 2018 U.S. Holiday Trends Guide outlines four major trends this season.

Toys “R” All Of Us

Toys will play a big role in courting shoppers this holiday season. With Toys"R"Us closing this year, retailers are battling for a piece of the $1.3 billion in sales Toys"R"Us left on the table.

Even some retailers who are not traditionally in the toy business are looking to cash in.

“It’s a big hole in the toy market this year and several retailers are trying to rush in and fill that gap,” Daniel Taylor, CBRE head of retail for Texas-Oklahoma said. “Barnes and Noble is doing it – even Ace Hardware, we heard, is trying to do it. Kroger and some others; everyone is trying to get a slice of that pie, some of that market share.”

Other stores getting into the toy game are Michaels and Party City and stores like Target and Walmart are expected to expand their toy selections.

“Three quarters of toy sales are actually done the holiday season, so if consumers are already coming in to buy toys – hopefully they are going to go buy some other things and that’s just pure margin for the retailer,” Taylor said.

Buy-Online/Ship-To-Store (BOSS)

Online shopping is still king these days, but stores still want you in the doors. This year, that will make you the BOSS (Buy Online and Ship to Store) of your shopping destiny.

While buying online and picking up your item at the store (BOPS) is common, many retailers are now evolving to shipping to the store.

“This season, the latest evolution of that strategy — buy-online/ship-to-store, or BOSS — allows shoppers to select from a wider inventory of merchandise stocked at the retailers’ warehouse to be delivered to their nearest store,” CBRE researchers explained.

“They see their online orders going up, but they know they need to drive traffic to the stores. This is another way to do that,” Taylor said. “The retailers know that if they can get the consumer in the store they are actually likely to spend more money than they would with an online purchase.”

Macy’s, Kohl’s and Michael’s have launched BOSS programs recently.

“The benefit to the consumer is maybe a little break on the price because the retailer doesn’t have to spend as much money on shipping so they are willing to offer discounts, store loyalty credits [and] things like that,” Taylor said.

CBRE identified other trends:

The Optimistic Shopper

The strong economy and near-full employment helped push retail sales growth to a six-year high in this year’s first half, which in turn has generated forecasts of healthy retail-sales gains of up to 4.8 percent for the holiday season. Retailers excelling in this environment mostly are those so proficient at selling across multiple channels that few of their transactions are strictly in-store or online anymore.

Experience The Rewards Of Loyalty

Retailers are enhancing their loyalty programs to retain shoppers, and their sweeteners of choice are experiences and access. Retailers including Macy’s, Sephora, Nordstrom Inc., Target and Victoria’s Secret have upgraded their loyalty programs this year to reward shoppers with perks such as access to exclusive events like fashion shows. In Sephora’s case, that includes meetings with its founders. The trend underscores retailers’ efforts to build stronger connections between their shoppers and their brands.

Contact Us