Thanks to optimistic shoppers who are ready to spend, the 2018 holiday shopping season has already been a success for retailers—and, in some cases, even a record-setter. And there's still one more week to go. Here's what to expect during the final push:
Top Shopping Days Lie Ahead
Although a survey by RetailMeNot found many shoppers getting an early start on picking up gifts this holiday season, there will still be plenty of buying under way this week, both in stores and online. Monday, Dec. 17 is projected to be one of the top desktop shopping days of the season, and this Saturday, Dec. 22 should be one of the busiest days on mobile. It's also worth noting that holiday shoppers plan to head to a physical store at least once per week, on average, in December.
What will be on the lists of last-minute gift shoppers? Books and news, health and beauty, gifts, accessories and designer clothing are top categories this week and promotions can help deliver the biggest impact.
Shipping Battles Heat Up
Free shipping is a big deal to shoppers. In the RetailMeNot survey, 61% of consumers said they would not buy an item online without free shipping. Additionally, 64% said free shipping makes them likely to spend more with a particular retailer during the holiday season.
Retailers are paying attention to shoppers' expectations. Target, for example, is now giving free, two-day shipping on orders through Dec. 22, which is comparable with Amazon Prime's delivery policy. After Target's announcement, Amazon sweetened its own free shipping options for non-Prime members—albeit with longer delivery times than Target's.