January 23, 2017
Every year, the industry looks back on the holiday shopping season and in 2016, observations echoed previous years’ peak season results: higher consumer expectations, increased deals and promotions, ecommerce and retail sales growth and more money spent during the months of November and December.
The International Council of Shopping Centers’ post-holiday survey in December showed an increase of 16% in consumer spending with an average of $711 spent per person on gifts and holiday-related items in 2016, compared to $611 in 2015. The same survey reports that 69% of shoppers spent money at retailers with both ecommerce and brick and mortar locations, highlighting the importance of multichannel distribution.
National Retail Federation (NRF) released its annual recap of holiday retail sales, which show a 4% increase in overall retail sales, totalling $658.3B. They also reported a 12.6% growth in non-store sales since 2015.
The majority of retailers delivered on shipping promises, with 97% successfully processing and delivering orders on or by the last guaranteed date, up from 95% in 2015 and 87% in 2014. This emphasizes the service level expectations of buyers and the pressure to stay competitive and ship quickly.
Looking at data specific to our service, order volume from Ingram Micro Commerce location and our customers’ Shipwire Anywhere locations processed through the Shipwire Platform increased 65% year-over-year across the 5-day shopping period, and strong growth was observed in the Home Products, Toys and Games, Consumer Electronics and Consumer Goods industries.
So was peak season 2016 a success or flop? Above, we mentioned increases in demand, expectations, volume and performance across the industry — but were customers satisfied?
During the first week of December, 64.7% consumers surveyed by the National Retail Federation rated their overall shopping experience as excellent or very good, up 4.7% in 2015. Not only did we (the industry and Ingram Micro Commerce & Fulfillment) see an increase in spend, increase in volume and strong on-time performance in 2016, we saw an increase in satisfied consumers.
Safe to say, we can call peak season 2016 a success.