Tips To Increase Holiday CE Sales
Bundling, add-ons, smart merchandising will increase basketOctober 28, 2013 By Jeff O'Heir
CE specialty retailers, facing flat sales and increased online and mobile competition during the holiday shopping season, have to do even more to build out the basket and boost the average ticket.
"The stakes have never been higher for brick-and-mortar retailers," Steve Koenig, CEA's director of industry analysis, said during the 2013 Holiday Sales and Forecast presented at the organization's recent Industry Forum in Los Angeles.
According to the forecast, 27% of consumers plan to shop at a CE store (down 2% from 2012), 41% plan to shop online (35% in '12), 52% plan to shop at a warehouse (way up from 29% last year); and 47% plan to shop at a mass merchant (63% '12). Overall, 75% of consumers (77% '12) plan to buy a brick and mortar, while 45% plan to buy online (46% '12). Holiday sales are expected to grow 2.6%, down from 4%, for the CE channel. Expected growth for specialty electronics dealers, however, is 0%, while general retailers can expect a 4 % uptick.
Specialty CE retailers, though, can deploy a number of strategies to drive sales during the holiday season, but offering a steady barrage of deeply discounted door busters is certainly not the most profitable."
"(Heavily discounted) promotions are not sustainable. Door busters, to us, are a loss leader. It's something that needs to change," Koenig said. "The channel needs to shift to a higher value product. Brick and mortars must build out their baskets."
Consumers, by the way, still welcome those Black Friday door busters, but they are less excited about them because they don't think prices can get much lower than in previous years. Consumers are also waiting a bit longer before they buy because they're conditioned to expect even better dealers in the near future.
"For consumers, December is the new December because they're waiting for a deal," Koenig said, adding that 30% of consumers plan to start their holiday shopping in December, up from 25% last year, while 38% plan to start in November, down from 39%.
Retailers, however, aren't waiting around. They are planning for Thanksgiving to be the busiest shopping day of the season. Macy's plans to be open that day, for the first time in its history, along with a slew of other retailers. Many retailers expect to extend their opening and closing hours, and will increase their online and mobile strategies to drive flash sales and anything else that will pull consumers into their stores and increase the basket.