2019 Holiday Sales Outlook is Bright

2019 Holiday Sales Outlook

As shoppers flock to buy on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas), the year 2019 is shaping up to be another positive year driven by the American consumer. The U.S. economy continues its remarkable growth streak, breaking records for the stock market and employment, and achieving strong, steady GDP growth.

And the 2019 holiday sales outlook in the fourth quarter is expected to be bright for many small businesses.

2019 Holiday Sales Outlook

That’s important because millions of small businesses make a large chunk of their revenue — and profits — during the fourth quarter. According to a survey by Kabbage, one third of small businesses reported the 4th quarter as their most profitable time of year.

Below are key numbers for the 2019 holiday sales forecast and beyond into 2020. Jump to the following 2019 holiday statistics:

Overall Small Business Holiday Outlook

How are small business owners feeling about the economic outlook as a whole?  Very positive:

  • The most recent Small Business Optimism index report for October 2019 rose slightly to 102.4, which the NFIB calls “historically a very solid reading.” Over the years, the Index has ranged from a record low of about 80 to a high of around  107, to put it in perspective. This means the current optimism is closer to historic highs, and that’s good.
  • The NFIB Uncertainty Index fell 4 points in October to 78 — and that’s also a good thing. The Uncertainty Index measures when owners are not sure about what the future holds. For perspective, one of the most uncertain times was August of 2016 when the score was 87. While there is still some uncertainty with the situation in Washington, this move is positive.
  • The consumer spending forecast is excellent. Consumer sentiment numbers are holding up well. They are in the upper ranges historically, as shown by the chart below from Tradenomics / University of Michigan. The red circle shows the current level.

Consumer Sentiment - November 2019 - Holiday Shopping

Retail Sales Forecast for Holiday 2019

Americans love to shop at the holidays, and they plan to frequent small business retail outlets.

  • Consumers expect to spend an average of $1,047 this 2019 holiday season. That’s 4% more than last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
  • Shoppers aged 35 to 44 plan to spend the most, at $1,158.
  • More than 165 million people are expected to shop over the 5-day Thanksgiving weekend. Over 66 million are expected to shop on Small Business Saturday, per the NRF.
  • 70% say discounts are the biggest factor in choosing where they will buy.
  • 83% of consumers plan to do some portion of their holiday shopping at a small retailer or restaurant – either in person or online. That’s according to American Express.
  • Consumers are estimated to spend around $10 billion on Small Business Saturday at small establishments.
  • Shopping doesn’t stop at Christmas. December 26th is the fourth busiest shopping day of the year per Bing.
  • In fact, support lasts all year long. 91% of consumers shop at a small business at least once per week. And 64% shop at least twice a week, according to research by SCORE.

Restaurant Industry Outlook

Americans love to eat out at restaurants, and growth is expected for 2019. It should be a good holiday season, despite staffing and profit margin challenges.

  • Restaurant sales for full-year 2019 are expected to grow by 3.6% to a total of $863 billion, according to the National Restaurant Association.
  • Consumer support for Small Business Saturday helps, as the “shop small” movement has spilled over to the concept of “dine small.”
  • The restaurant industry is well populated by small businesses. There are over 1 million restaurant locations in the United States alone — and 70% are single-unit operations.
  • Staffing pressures will require restaurant operators to increasingly hire older workers due to demographic changes and low unemployment rates, predicts the NRF. In 1978 there were almost 10 million teenagers in the workforce. Workers 65 and older numbered only about 3 million back then. Fast forward to today. Older adults in the U.S. workforce outnumber teenagers by more than 4 million.
  • Restaurant margin pressures continue, but operators are turning to technology to drive efficiencies. Per the Association’s “Restaurant Industry 2030” report, “There will be a strong motivation to automate routine back-of-house tasks in restaurant kitchens and bars, as well as escalate the use of kiosks and digital ordering.”
  • Local bakeries are among shoppers’ favorite destinations (40%). Restaurants and bars are also favorites (37%), as this infographic by SCORE and Nav shows:

Favorite retail destinations - small businesses

E-commerce Outlook

E-commerce is a growing channel for small businesses, especially as shoppers shift more of their dollars to online shopping.

  • Many small ecommerce businesses have adopted a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude toward Amazon. 58% of what Amazon sells is now from third party sellers, many of them small businesses.
  • For the 13th year in a row, gift cards are the most popular item on consumer wish lists. They are requested by 59% of people, per the NRF. If you don’t already sell gift cards, it’s not too late to start.
  • Cyber Monday has the highest conversion rate of the season at a stunning 6.39%, according to Microsoft’s Bing. So if you’re planning to advertise to get more sales, enjoy the higher than average results on that day.
  • 47% of online shoppers don’t want to pay for shipping, according to Bing research. You might consider participating in Free Shipping Day, a voluntary event for merchants on Saturday, December 14, 2019. Or extend free shipping throughout the holiday season and highlight it on your website as an incentive for shoppers.
  • See more ecommerce statistics.

Digital Publisher Outlook

For small online publishers that earn from ad revenue, the holiday outlook is excellent. It’s shaping up to be a big year for the remainder of 2019 and the foreseeable future.

  • “[T]he digital advertising industry remains one of the strongest and most dynamic sectors of the U.S. economy. At nearly 17 percent growth from the prior half year, the digital advertising industry is still far outpacing all other ad supported mediums.” That’s according to the latest report from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) for the first half of 2019.
  • Revenues for the first half of 2019 set a new record, at $57.9 billion. Mobile ads accounted for 69% and desktop for 31%.
  • The fourth quarter is traditionally the highest earning season for publishers because advertisers spend more in the fourth quarter.
  • Ad revenues this quarter have already tied for second highest place (apart from Black Friday week last year), as the Ezoic Ad Revenue Index shows through November 15th.  And we haven’t even hit Black Friday Week yet for 2019. Traditionally that is the highest-earning week of the year.

Ad revenue - digital publishers - Holiday 2019

For many industries, times are good right now with a booming economy and happy consumers with full wallets. The 2019 holiday sales outlook is bright.

Here’s to making the 2019 holiday season YOUR best performing ever!

Images: Shutterstock; and Small Business Trends charts mixed from Tradenomics, SCORE, Ezoic

This article, "2019 Holiday Sales Outlook is Bright" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

2019 Holiday Sales Outlook is Bright

2019 Holiday Sales Outlook

As shoppers flock to buy on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Super Saturday (the last Saturday before Christmas), the year 2019 is shaping up to be another positive year driven by the American consumer. The U.S. economy continues its remarkable growth streak, breaking records for the stock market and employment, and achieving strong, steady GDP growth.

And the 2019 holiday sales outlook in the fourth quarter is expected to be bright for many small businesses.

2019 Holiday Sales Outlook

That’s important because millions of small businesses make a large chunk of their revenue — and profits — during the fourth quarter. According to a survey by Kabbage, one third of small businesses reported the 4th quarter as their most profitable time of year.

Below are key numbers for the 2019 holiday sales forecast and beyond into 2020. Jump to the following 2019 holiday statistics:

Overall Small Business Holiday Outlook

How are small business owners feeling about the economic outlook as a whole?  Very positive:

  • The most recent Small Business Optimism index report for October 2019 rose slightly to 102.4, which the NFIB calls “historically a very solid reading.” Over the years, the Index has ranged from a record low of about 80 to a high of around  107, to put it in perspective. This means the current optimism is closer to historic highs, and that’s good.
  • The NFIB Uncertainty Index fell 4 points in October to 78 — and that’s also a good thing. The Uncertainty Index measures when owners are not sure about what the future holds. For perspective, one of the most uncertain times was August of 2016 when the score was 87. While there is still some uncertainty with the situation in Washington, this move is positive.
  • The consumer spending forecast is excellent. Consumer sentiment numbers are holding up well. They are in the upper ranges historically, as shown by the chart below from Tradenomics / University of Michigan. The red circle shows the current level.

Consumer Sentiment - November 2019 - Holiday Shopping

Retail Sales Forecast for Holiday 2019

Americans love to shop at the holidays, and they plan to frequent small business retail outlets.

  • Consumers expect to spend an average of $1,047 this 2019 holiday season. That’s 4% more than last year, according to the National Retail Federation.
  • Shoppers aged 35 to 44 plan to spend the most, at $1,158.
  • More than 165 million people are expected to shop over the 5-day Thanksgiving weekend. Over 66 million are expected to shop on Small Business Saturday, per the NRF.
  • 70% say discounts are the biggest factor in choosing where they will buy.
  • 83% of consumers plan to do some portion of their holiday shopping at a small retailer or restaurant – either in person or online. That’s according to American Express.
  • Consumers are estimated to spend around $10 billion on Small Business Saturday at small establishments.
  • Shopping doesn’t stop at Christmas. December 26th is the fourth busiest shopping day of the year per Bing.
  • In fact, support lasts all year long. 91% of consumers shop at a small business at least once per week. And 64% shop at least twice a week, according to research by SCORE.

Restaurant Industry Outlook

Americans love to eat out at restaurants, and growth is expected for 2019. It should be a good holiday season, despite staffing and profit margin challenges.

  • Restaurant sales for full-year 2019 are expected to grow by 3.6% to a total of $863 billion, according to the National Restaurant Association.
  • Consumer support for Small Business Saturday helps, as the “shop small” movement has spilled over to the concept of “dine small.”
  • The restaurant industry is well populated by small businesses. There are over 1 million restaurant locations in the United States alone — and 70% are single-unit operations.
  • Staffing pressures will require restaurant operators to increasingly hire older workers due to demographic changes and low unemployment rates, predicts the NRF. In 1978 there were almost 10 million teenagers in the workforce. Workers 65 and older numbered only about 3 million back then. Fast forward to today. Older adults in the U.S. workforce outnumber teenagers by more than 4 million.
  • Restaurant margin pressures continue, but operators are turning to technology to drive efficiencies. Per the Association’s “Restaurant Industry 2030” report, “There will be a strong motivation to automate routine back-of-house tasks in restaurant kitchens and bars, as well as escalate the use of kiosks and digital ordering.”
  • Local bakeries are among shoppers’ favorite destinations (40%). Restaurants and bars are also favorites (37%), as this infographic by SCORE and Nav shows:

Favorite retail destinations - small businesses

E-commerce Outlook

E-commerce is a growing channel for small businesses, especially as shoppers shift more of their dollars to online shopping.

  • Many small ecommerce businesses have adopted a “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude toward Amazon. 58% of what Amazon sells is now from third party sellers, many of them small businesses.
  • For the 13th year in a row, gift cards are the most popular item on consumer wish lists. They are requested by 59% of people, per the NRF. If you don’t already sell gift cards, it’s not too late to start.
  • Cyber Monday has the highest conversion rate of the season at a stunning 6.39%, according to Microsoft’s Bing. So if you’re planning to advertise to get more sales, enjoy the higher than average results on that day.
  • 47% of online shoppers don’t want to pay for shipping, according to Bing research. You might consider participating in Free Shipping Day, a voluntary event for merchants on Saturday, December 14, 2019. Or extend free shipping throughout the holiday season and highlight it on your website as an incentive for shoppers.
  • See more ecommerce statistics.

Digital Publisher Outlook

For small online publishers that earn from ad revenue, the holiday outlook is excellent. It’s shaping up to be a big year for the remainder of 2019 and the foreseeable future.

  • “[T]he digital advertising industry remains one of the strongest and most dynamic sectors of the U.S. economy. At nearly 17 percent growth from the prior half year, the digital advertising industry is still far outpacing all other ad supported mediums.” That’s according to the latest report from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) for the first half of 2019.
  • Revenues for the first half of 2019 set a new record, at $57.9 billion. Mobile ads accounted for 69% and desktop for 31%.
  • The fourth quarter is traditionally the highest earning season for publishers because advertisers spend more in the fourth quarter.
  • Ad revenues this quarter have already tied for second highest place (apart from Black Friday week last year), as the Ezoic Ad Revenue Index shows through November 15th.  And we haven’t even hit Black Friday Week yet for 2019. Traditionally that is the highest-earning week of the year.

Ad revenue - digital publishers - Holiday 2019

For many industries, times are good right now with a booming economy and happy consumers with full wallets. The 2019 holiday sales outlook is bright.

Here’s to making the 2019 holiday season YOUR best performing ever!

Images: Shutterstock; and Small Business Trends charts mixed from Tradenomics, SCORE, Ezoic

This article, "2019 Holiday Sales Outlook is Bright" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers and Employees

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Holiday gift card can provide the perfect way for you to recognize your team members, clients, and anyone else who supports your business. You can get them from nearly any retailer or business. And sometimes you can even find holiday gift card deals that allow you to get more value for your purchase.

There are also creative ways to give gift cards so you can make the experience a bit more special. For example, you can purchase a unique gift box, including the gift card in a stocking, or hide it inside another gift like a briefcase or vase.

Sometimes it’s hard to pick the right gift for your clients, customers, and employees. Instead, check out our list of holiday gift cards for inspiration.

Holiday Gift Cards

Visa

Visa

With a Visa gift card, your business associates can spend it pretty much anywhere. But you can still customize the design with an image or personal photo to make it special.

American Express

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Another general gift card that is widely accepted, American Express also offers business rates for those who need to purchase lots of gifts.

Amazon

Amazon

Your team members can get pretty much anything they want for Christmas from Amazon. And the site also sells unique gift boxes.

Starbucks

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Give your coworkers, colleagues or clients the gift of caffeine this holiday season with a Starbucks gift card they can use each morning on their way to work.

Office Depot

Office Depot

For those who want to stick with professional holiday gift cards, opt for a store that sells office supplies like Office Depot/Office Max.

Wayfair

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If you have any coworkers or business associates who need new office furniture or recently moved into a new home, consider a card from Wayfair.

The Home Depot

The Home Depot

The Home Depot is another perfect option if you need a holiday gift card for any coworkers or clients who have home or office projects to work on.

Walmart

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Walmart offers gift cards for its own store, as well as those from other retailers and restaurants. You can also purchase e-gift cards for business associates who you won’t see in person over the holidays.

Target

Target

You can buy pretty much anything from Target. So it may be the perfect holiday gift card if there are people on your list who you’re not sure what to buy for.

Apple

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If you have team members or clients who might need some new tech items, consider an Apple gift card.

iTunes

iTunes

If you want to give the gift of entertainment through music, movies or even applications, an iTunes gift card may be the perfect option. Just make sure the recipient has Apple devices or an iTunes account so they can use it.

Google Play

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If you’re buying holiday gift cards for those with Android or Google devices, consider a Google Play gift card instead.

Microsoft

Microsoft

You could also opt for a Microsoft gift card to give your colleagues the opportunity to purchase Windows products, Microsoft gear or even Xbox accessories.

Netflix

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If your coworkers love binge watching their favorite shows, give them the gift of Netflix via a gift card that can cover their account for several months.

eBay

eBay

You can still find pretty much anything on eBay. This gift card may be perfect for those who collect vintage items or love scouring the web for deals.

Etsy

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Etsy also sells their own gift cards. So this could be the perfect option for your associates who love unique handmade or vintage decor.

Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster

For your colleagues who love to attend live events, especially if it may be beneficial for them to bring clients or prospects, a Ticketmaster gift card could help them score more tickets.

Uber

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

An Uber gift card can help your team members get around town more efficiently. This can be especially useful for any colleagues who travel regularly.

Panera Bread

Panera Bread

If you want to get very practical gift cards for your team or business clients, consider Panera Bread so they can use their gift on their lunch break.

Whole Foods

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

For all of your health conscious team members or customers, purchase Whole Foods gift cards that they can use to buy groceries at your local store or even online.

Michael’s

Michael’s

For team members who are especially creative, or those who work on artistic projects in the office, let them pick out their own art and craft supplies from Michael’s.

Hotels.com

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If you’re looking for gift card deals for team members who love to travel, Hotels.com offers cards that can be used to book nearly anything.

BP

BP

Gas is a perfectly practical gift for business associates, especially those who need to drive a lot for work. So a BP gift card could be the perfect option.

Barnes & Noble

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If your coworkers or clients love to read or need to purchase books for work, opt for a gift card from Barnes & Noble.

Dinner and a Movie

Dinner and a Movie

If you simply want to give your team members a fun night out, this dinner and a movie gift card gives them options of a few different theaters and restaurants.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers and Employees" was first published on Small Business Trends



RSS Business Feeds

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers and Employees

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Holiday gift card can provide the perfect way for you to recognize your team members, clients, and anyone else who supports your business. You can get them from nearly any retailer or business. And sometimes you can even find holiday gift card deals that allow you to get more value for your purchase.

There are also creative ways to give gift cards so you can make the experience a bit more special. For example, you can purchase a unique gift box, including the gift card in a stocking, or hide it inside another gift like a briefcase or vase.

Sometimes it’s hard to pick the right gift for your clients, customers, and employees. Instead, check out our list of holiday gift cards for inspiration.

Holiday Gift Cards

Visa

Visa

With a Visa gift card, your business associates can spend it pretty much anywhere. But you can still customize the design with an image or personal photo to make it special.

American Express

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Another general gift card that is widely accepted, American Express also offers business rates for those who need to purchase lots of gifts.

Amazon

Amazon

Your team members can get pretty much anything they want for Christmas from Amazon. And the site also sells unique gift boxes.

Starbucks

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Give your coworkers, colleagues or clients the gift of caffeine this holiday season with a Starbucks gift card they can use each morning on their way to work.

Office Depot

Office Depot

For those who want to stick with professional holiday gift cards, opt for a store that sells office supplies like Office Depot/Office Max.

Wayfair

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If you have any coworkers or business associates who need new office furniture or recently moved into a new home, consider a card from Wayfair.

The Home Depot

The Home Depot

The Home Depot is another perfect option if you need a holiday gift card for any coworkers or clients who have home or office projects to work on.

Walmart

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Walmart offers gift cards for its own store, as well as those from other retailers and restaurants. You can also purchase e-gift cards for business associates who you won’t see in person over the holidays.

Target

Target

You can buy pretty much anything from Target. So it may be the perfect holiday gift card if there are people on your list who you’re not sure what to buy for.

Apple

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If you have team members or clients who might need some new tech items, consider an Apple gift card.

iTunes

iTunes

If you want to give the gift of entertainment through music, movies or even applications, an iTunes gift card may be the perfect option. Just make sure the recipient has Apple devices or an iTunes account so they can use it.

Google Play

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If you’re buying holiday gift cards for those with Android or Google devices, consider a Google Play gift card instead.

Microsoft

Microsoft

You could also opt for a Microsoft gift card to give your colleagues the opportunity to purchase Windows products, Microsoft gear or even Xbox accessories.

Netflix

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If your coworkers love binge watching their favorite shows, give them the gift of Netflix via a gift card that can cover their account for several months.

eBay

eBay

You can still find pretty much anything on eBay. This gift card may be perfect for those who collect vintage items or love scouring the web for deals.

Etsy

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

Etsy also sells their own gift cards. So this could be the perfect option for your associates who love unique handmade or vintage decor.

Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster

For your colleagues who love to attend live events, especially if it may be beneficial for them to bring clients or prospects, a Ticketmaster gift card could help them score more tickets.

Uber

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

An Uber gift card can help your team members get around town more efficiently. This can be especially useful for any colleagues who travel regularly.

Panera Bread

Panera Bread

If you want to get very practical gift cards for your team or business clients, consider Panera Bread so they can use their gift on their lunch break.

Whole Foods

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

For all of your health conscious team members or customers, purchase Whole Foods gift cards that they can use to buy groceries at your local store or even online.

Michael’s

Michael’s

For team members who are especially creative, or those who work on artistic projects in the office, let them pick out their own art and craft supplies from Michael’s.

Hotels.com

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If you’re looking for gift card deals for team members who love to travel, Hotels.com offers cards that can be used to book nearly anything.

BP

BP

Gas is a perfectly practical gift for business associates, especially those who need to drive a lot for work. So a BP gift card could be the perfect option.

Barnes & Noble

25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers, and Employees

If your coworkers or clients love to read or need to purchase books for work, opt for a gift card from Barnes & Noble.

Dinner and a Movie

Dinner and a Movie

If you simply want to give your team members a fun night out, this dinner and a movie gift card gives them options of a few different theaters and restaurants.

Image: Depositphotos.com

This article, "25 Holiday Gift Cards to Give Clients, Customers and Employees" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds