The end of December brings to an end “Holiday,” traditionally retail’s most important season. In the middle of season, Shelley E. Kohan, RetailNext’s vp of retail consulting and a faculty member at the Fashion Institute of Technology, offered up a couple of quick insights on how retail is being forced to change some of its long-held practices and processes.
First off, the Holiday shopping season is becoming less dependent on the “big event” days of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Super Saturday. Rather, shoppers are now spreading their attention and activity over the season as a whole, and retailers who are approaching Holiday with an overall perspective are best positioned to win.
There’s also been a flood of online ecommerce titans like Amazon and Zappos, and even rising up-and-comers like Warby Parker, Bonobos and Rent the Runway, opening brick-and-mortar stores, and the marketing and branding lift has been significant. But, if Holiday ’14 has taught us anything, it’s that no one channel is better or worse than the other. Rather, Holiday ’14 was truly the tipping point for seamless, consistent multichannel shopping experiences between mobile, online, and in-store.
Holiday 2014 allowed some leeway for retailers to learn. They’ve now got another ten months to put learning to practice to compete for shoppers’ affections – and wallets – next year.
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