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Holiday sales rush finally comes to a close

December 24, 2013

Consumers purchased holiday gifts for their loved ones and friends throughout December, but the rush at payment processing stations finally slowed down during the last weekend prior to Christmas Day.

Consumers purchased holiday gifts for their loved ones and friends throughout December, but the rush at payment processing stations finally slowed down during the last weekend prior to Christmas Day. 

Reuters recently reported that consumers were shopping less on the final weekend prior to Christmas than they had on all other weekends in November and December this year – despite the fact that many retailers were offering their largest discounts of the entire season.

Citing statistics provided by RetailNext, the news outlet reported that U.S. brick-and-mortar retail sales were also down last weekend when compared with the equivalent weekend in 2012. 

However, there may be an upside to this news for retailers still hoping to conduct a number of holiday transactions at their credit card payment processing registers. Reuters also reported that shoppers are planning to do more holiday-based spending after Dec. 25 this year than they had in 2012, citing awareness of post-holiday discounts and sales. By offering major discounts to help clear out stock following the holidays, many retailers will find themselves servicing a rush of customers comparable to the busiest pre-Christmas shopping days. 

In-store pick-up options work to improve Christmas Eve sales
Another recent Reuters report detailed the ways that many retail outlets are working to sell consumers gift right up to the last moments preceding Christmas Day. Sucharita Mulpuru, an e-commerce analyst at Forrester Research, told the news outlet that many stores are allowing consumers to order products online and then pick them up immediately at a brick-and-mortar store location, for example, as this is one of the only ways that an e-commerce company can sell a product to a consumer so close to the holidays.

“There is not a whole lot you can do at the 11th hour, but this is one of the few levers you can pull,” Mulpuru told Reuters. “If they can convince even one percent more customers to come to their stores, that’s a big win.” 

Reuters reported that a large number of retailers, including Target, Sears, Wal-Mart, Gap and others, are currently allowing consumers in at least some major markets to order a product from an online credit card payment processing page and then pick it up immediately at a physical store location. 

“You want your website to get people into your stores, and you want your stores to get people to shop on your website,” Bill Martin, of ShopperTrak, told Reuters.

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