2019 was the first year U.S. holiday retail sales exceeded $1 trillion. Marking a 2.7 percent increase over 2018, it was the best retail season on record, bringing in approximately $1.01 trillion dollars for stores around the country.
2020 may be a different story. While forecasters are still expecting strong sales, the landscape will look far different. E-commerce sales have accelerated over the past several months while brick-and-mortar customers are continuing to change their shopping behaviors. The result will be a holiday shopping season unlike any other: Extreme reliance on e-commerce opportunities mixed with targeted shopping trips for pre-determined purchases.
Mixing E-Commerce with a Visual Merchandising Planogram
McKinsey reports that consumers, even those with little online shopping experience, have quickly become comfortable with purchasing online. Even older generations are now comfortable with online retail, as it provides an easy, germ-free way to access goods. Retailers should be spending the next few months directing resources to their online channels, using visual merchandising to guide customers to the items they are most likely to want.
Still, millions of Americans are expected to utilize brick-and-mortar shopping during the early winter months. In fact, some say the peak 2020 holiday season will begin earlier than ever. As a result, retailers should begin strategizing now to be ready for the holiday shopping season. Whether you’re planning a seasonal display or trying to put the hottest gifts in the customer sightline, you’ll want to have your planogram in the works several weeks before the big holiday shopping kick-off.
The best way to plan for the unknown is to centralize your data as much as possible – understand product, supplier, customer, and location data before settling on a plan. In keeping this information in mind while planning and adapting to changing consumer needs, you’ll be more ready to face the challenges of the 2020 holiday shopping season. The best way to do this? With a visual merchandising planogram software.
Get Ahead of the Season with a Planogram Software
More than anything, this holiday season will demand flexibility on the part of retailers. Because of this, you should anticipate needing to make last-minute changes, even mid-season changes, to suit customer demand. The best tool for the job is a visual merchandising planogram software.
A planogram software, like that offered from Scorpion Planogram, allows suppliers and retailers to adapt quickly to changing customer needs. Users will be able to ideate, design, and test various layouts of a retail space. Then, choose the most optimal option and execute the plan. If it doesn’t work, going back to the drawing board only requires manipulating the space within the software tool.
Think of a visual merchandising planogram software as a shortcut to finding your ideal retail layout. Remember that planning for the holidays needs to start as soon as possible; once the 2020 season is underway, you’ll need to optimize the data and experience you have to make the smartest-possible decisions. With a huge question mark hovering above the holiday shopping season, this is the best way to adapt to and meet customer needs, no matter what happens in November.