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Retail Optimism 2018: Traffic Drives Retail

Insights from the strong spending during the 2017 holiday-shopping season. ICSC, International Council of Shopping Centers, published their insights last week regarding shopping during the Holidays and there are a few noteworthy headlines.

  1. Holiday spending was up 18% this year compared to last year; average spending went from $711 (2016) to $842 (2017).
  2. The study concluded that 90% of holiday shoppers made purchases in physical stores this year.
  3. Gift Cards are the number-one gift for the third year in a row; 68% of holiday shoppers purchased gift cards.
  4. Shopping Center visitors between November 1 and Christmas were up year-over-year.
  5. Omni-channel retailers' use of “click and collect” captured additional sales. *Click and Collect is the process of buying online and picking up in store.

“Click and Collect” and Gift Cards were some of the biggest winners for retail stores because they drive traffic and increase sales. The survey showed that two out of every five holiday shoppers or 40% used “click and collect”, of which, 90% purchased additional items while picking up their item from the store. In similar fashion, gift cards encourage consumers to visit brick and mortar stores, which can lead to sales of additional items. The consumer either does not utilize the entire amount of the gift card or finds an item more expensive than the amount given, encouraging additional sales.

The bottom line is that store traffic drives sales volume. Therefore, retailers and developers alike can experience an increase in sales volume by being creative and innovative in implementing a strategy to drive traffic.

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