With Christmas less than a month away, retailers and consumers are in the midst of the busiest shopping season of the year. Holiday sales are expected to exceed $655 billion before the end of December.
Here are eight things you need to know to get through the shopping season:
1. It’s all about online shopping this year. The vastly different consumer habits of the younger generation are changing the way retailers hire workers, advertise products and deals, and prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season.
2. Don’t get tricked this holiday season. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine offered holiday consumer protection tips ahead of one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. Consider using a credit card for online purchases. In general, when you pay with a credit card, you have certain rights to dispute unauthorized charges that you may not have with a debit card or other form of payment.
3. More packages will be shipped this season than ever before. The increase in online sales — coupled with Thanksgiving and Black Friday falling earlier in the month — has created a demand for more reliable and expedited delivery practices. Shipping companies have warned customers to be aware of delivery deadlines, or their packages won’t make it to their destination in time for the holidays. If you want your packages to arrive on time, read our tips for holiday shipping.
4. Holiday shopping has resulted in job growth for the Miami Valley. Retailers are still hiring seasonal workers by the thousands, but consumer spending habits mean more of those jobs are in distribution and e-commerce. Although traditional holiday jobs are still available, delivering service to customers these days also means getting the packages they ordered online delivered on time. The United Parcel Service, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service all ramped up hiring for the holiday season.
5. Small businesses got in on the action. Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. It falls right after Thanksgiving and Black Friday, and started back in 2010. According to American Express, 95 million people shopped at small businesses last year on Small Business Saturday.
6. Here in Dayton, bigger crowds shopped on Thanksgiving than they did on Black Friday. Many shoppers throughout the region said they noticed a stark contrast between the crowds on Thanksgiving and later on Black Friday. Large crowds flocked to stores that opened on Thursday night, while lines were smaller and more manageable as Friday progressed.
7. Shoppers spent more money online during Cyber Monday than any other day in history. New data from Adobe Digital Insights show consumers spent about $3.45 billion online Monday, a 12 percent increase from last year.
8. After Cyber Monday, there was Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday, a global event in its fifth year that focuses on charitable giving, encourages consumers to take a step back from the buying frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday to focus on the less fortunate.