Retail CMOs are optimistic as they look forward to post-Thanksgiving shopping. According to the new BDO Retail Compass Survey of CMOs, retailers are projecting a 3.1% increase this year in sales on Black Friday and a 4.3% increase — the largest ever — on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday sales reached a record $1.25 billion in 2011 and CMOs expect this year to be even bigger. Other research also finds that consumer confidence is at an all time high and affluent consumers are increasing their holiday shopping budget.
Despite the uptick in spending, CMOs are still preparing to offer incentives to boost sales. 66% of those surveyed say that they expect to see increases in discounts and promotions this year. More than one in three CMOs say that they will use free shipping offers as the top tactic to generate online holiday sales, followed by 31% who cite email promotions.
As e-commerce increasingly becomes the preferred shopping channel for consumers, retailers are now facing the challenge of how to maintain their store traffic. 41% surveyed say that getting people into stores is a major priority this year and 2 out of 3 CMOs plan to achieve this by offering in-store only deals, doorbuster sales, and loyalty programs. Retailers will also be operating on extended hours throughout the holiday season — some will even be open the evening of Thanksgiving Day to lure shoppers searching for early deals.
“Retailers have learned to adapt to new consumer realities and shape them to their advantage,” says Ted Vaughan, partner in the Retail and Consumer Products practice at BDO USA, LLP. “Consumers are looking to spend, and retailers are responding by offering a broad mix of offline and online deals not just on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but throughout the season.”