A recent study illustrated the importance of online and mobile credit card payment processing pages as clearly as ever before: during the past holiday season, overall retail revenue increased even as overall foot traffic dived lower than ever.
ShopperTrak recently reported that sales increased for the fourth straight year during the 2013 holiday season, eventually accounting for more than $265 billion in sales during November and December 2013. Overall, consumers spent 2.7 percent more during these months in 2013 than they had during 2012.
“As we anticipated, retailers saw a gain in sales compared to last year as the economy continues to recover,” said Bill Martin, founder of ShopperTrak. “However, consumers took a break from shopping after Thanksgiving weekend, so retailers were pressured to offer deep discounts and promotions in the final week before Christmas to finish the holiday on a positive note. In the future, retailers who promote throughout the season will be more successful than those who take a hiatus in the week or two after Thanksgiving.”
These sales increases came even as shoppers frequented brick-and-mortar retail stores to a much lesser degree than previous years. This suggests that retailers that fail to host online credit card payment processing pages and sell their products online are likely seeing their revenue drop even as the market improves. ShopperTrak reported that foot traffic in retail stores decreased by more than 14 percent year-over-year.
This is illustrated, for example, by the way that consumers have begun to prefer Cyber Monday to Black Friday. ShopperTrak reported that Black Friday retail sales were down by 13 percent this year. However, despite the decreases in in-store shopping, retailers can expect a healthy 2014: the firm also reported that it expects retail sales to increase by almost 3 percent during the first quarter of the new year.
Credit card company bolsters claims of improving market
ShopperTrak isn’t the only firm suggesting that consumers are spending more freely than ever. The latest Discover U.S. Spending Monitor found that consumer confidence is clearly at its highest level since July, with 30 percent of respondents to the poll noting that they think the economy is currently in a state of constant improvement. That’s an increase of 5 percent from just one month ago, suggesting that consumers are increasing their retail spending budgets in a rapid manner.