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How much does Father’s Day – and other holidays – boost retail sales?

June 18, 2014

Most retailers have learned, over the years, that holidays are a sure thing: you can always count on seeing a revenue boost if you've got customers coming in to buy gifts for their loved ones.

Most retailers have learned over the years that holidays are a sure thing: you can always count on seeing a revenue boost if you’ve got customers coming in to buy gifts for their loved ones. Now a couple of recent reports show that nothing changes in that regard when you’re talking about e-commerce. Consumers buy gifts at just as fast a rate at online credit card payment processing pages as they do when at an in-store point of sale system.

For instance, a recent Internet Retailer analysis of data taken from IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark report found that U.S. online retail sales go up, up, up in the lead to Father’s Day. Sales increased on a short term basis, but also year-over-year: consumers spent 14 percent more online in the week leading to Father’s Day this year than they did last year, illustrating how the consumer preference shift to e-commerce from in-store shopping, in a general sense, is becoming more apparent every single year.

The average shopper spent $119 online on Father’s Day gifts, according to the reports. Yet that may even be one of the lower-ranking holiday sales boosts: according to the report, consumers spent even more on Mother’s Day gifts this year, to the tune of roughly $125 per order.

How does Father’s Day impact retail in general?
Another recent report further illustrates the revenue boost offered to retail outlets – online or off – who properly optimize for the holidays. Pam Goodfellow, director of consumer insights at Prosper, recently reported – by way of the National Retail Federation – that the average consumer would be spending roughly $113 on Father’s Day gifts this year overall, backing up the comparable figure reported above.

“As we saw with Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day this year, consumers are keeping to a strict budget,” said Goodfellow. “Whether they spend $10 or $100, millions of Americans will find creative, affordable ways to show dad how much they care.”

Matthew Shay, president and CEO of the National Retail Federation, noted that – as usual – sale prices and other promotions are helping to drive customers to buy these gifts, showing how retail outlets need to augment their strategy on a holiday-by-holiday basis. 

“Knowing both cost and sentiment are important to their shoppers, retailers this Father’s Day will make sure to offer promotions on a variety of gift options, including home improvement items, tools and even apparel,” Shay said. “As more people look for ‘experience gifts’ with tickets to baseball games or a day on the golf course, retailers will also make sure to promote their gift cards for families hoping to create the perfect gift package.”

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