Whether it’s leasing much needed equipment or taking out alternative business loans in order to hire new staff, now might be the time for businesses to focus on preparing for the holiday season. Economic recovery in the U.S. is forecasted to result in increased shopping and sales during the holidays, according to Deloitte.
“Income, wage and job growth are positive indicators heading into the holiday season,” Daniel Bachman, Deloitte’s senior U.S. economist, said in a recent press release. “Debt levels remain at historical lows, and stock market gains coupled with increasing home prices have a wealth effect on consumers, which may encourage increased spending compared with prior years. Although consumers are watching tensions unfold in the Middle East and Ukraine, the improvement in their economic situation should more than offset the foreign conflicts’ impact on consumer confidence and retail sales.”
Deloitte researchers predict total holiday sales to reach between $981 and $986 billion from November to January in 2014 – a 4 to 4.5 percent increase in holiday sales compared to 2013. Online retailers are expected to see a large chunk of consumer activity, but digital tools are expected to help brick-and-mortar businesses throughout the country as well.
“While online sales continue to climb, digital customer interactions through both virtual and physical store channels present greater sales opportunities than online or mobile commerce alone,” said Alison Paul, retail and distribution sector leader at Deloitte. “Our research indicates that 84 percent of shoppers use digital tools before and during their trip to a store. Additionally, those shoppers convert, or make a purchase, at a 40 percent higher rate than those who do not use such devices during their shopping journey.”
With more shopping activity expected on the horizon, small businesses especially will want to make sure they have the tools and staff needed to accommodate the holiday rush. The right small business loan can make it easier to obtain needed equipment and hire seasonal employees.