There’s no stopping shoppers around the holidays. The National Retail Federation reports that 2016 holiday retail sales exceeded forecasts, increasing 4% year-over-year to $658.3 billion. The organization is expected to increase its forecast for the upcoming 2017 season once again, which is great news for retailers and for the economy. However, as online shopping and fast, free shipping become standard, competition between stores continues to increase. Proximity to a brick and mortar location is no longer much of a driver for holiday shoppers, so retailers need to come up with other ways to get shoppers on their sites and in their stores.
A Surprising Number of Gift Cards Aren’t Actually Purchased as Gifts
According to WalletHub, gift card sales are expected to reach $149 billion in 2017, a 54 percent increase from 2007. They’re now the most popular holiday present, and are gaining popularity for other gift-giving occasions, too. Surprisingly, though, a huge percentage of gift cards aren’t purchased to change hands at all.