Is Orange the New Black? Halloween is Day 1 of the Holiday Season
Online spending is set for the biggest year ever, to the tune of over $2.9bn. It may not be Black Friday, but is Halloween about to kick off the biggest holiday shopping season ever?
Like the rest of the economy, Halloween has moved online. According to the US National Retail Federation, overall Halloween spending is set to jump from $8 billion in 2020 to $10.14 billion in 2021, with ecommerce sales expected to comprise $2.94 billion. This is not only an opportunity for cross-border brands to sell into the US—but also for US brands to share the growing demand for “Golden Quarter” holidays with global markets.
When you look at ecommerce Halloween sales, in many global markets, consumer spending on Halloween is much more spirited than other key events in the retail calendar, surpassing even Valentine’s Day in some categories.
However, this year, you could be forgiven for thinking there is a new kind of retail apocalypse happening, what with all the headlines warning that supply-chain chaos is putting "Christmas at risk"—or that there will be empty shelves and toy shortages during this upcoming holiday season.
At the same time, leading analysts are predicting a holiday season bonanza with sales growth in November and December expected to rise in the region of 7% to 10%. AlixPartners, whose forecast calls for 13% in a best-case scenario (and includes October), says it will be the strongest holiday season since 1999 in terms of growth.
Consumer behaviors and demands are constantly changing. Online retailers will generally be aware of the regular key seasonal peaks and drivers. It may not be as big an event as Black Friday, but niche holidays like Halloween can bring significant growth in sales to cross-border ecommerce brands. What’s different this year (apart from the fact that more people are planning to get into the spirit of Halloween - to make it an even more memorable one post-pandemic) is the global media frenzy around the holidays and some scarcity panic buying.
So here at Reach, we’re wondering if Halloween, at least for this year, will mark the start of our peak spending season? More importantly, are retailers accommodating this shift in preparedness to meet what are obviously going to be tricky fulfillment issues?
Clunky checkout processes, frustrated customers, and lost sales all add up create nightmares for businesses struggling to stand out from the crowd. For most cross-border ecommerce brands, their long-term and short-term goals are all linked to scaling up and expansion. They need to ensure that they have an ecommerce platform ready and capable to grow online fast and support offline areas of the business, as the opportunity arises.
We know only too well from recent events that external forces also play a huge role in creating unprecedented spikes in global demand. Over the past 18 months, retailers have dealt with extenuating circumstances springing out of the rapid surge in ecommerce growth, because of the global pandemic shifting large swathes of consumer spending online.
The online retailers that have managed to keep pace with this demand, amongst coping with product supply chain hold-ups, will have invested appropriately some time before in their technology, and will be working with technical partners capable of responding rapidly to changing retail dynamics, and global shopping habits. The importance of choosing a platform that can successfully scale to cope with new demands, capable of entering new markets, and be fit for purpose for aggressive growth ambitions online, cannot be underestimated.
With Reach’s optimized API technology designed specifically for cross-border retail ecommerce platforms and game-changing Merchant of Record “MOR” model, retailers can use Reach’s core connections and corporate structure to process payments locally without having to establish multiple local entities, offer 100+ currencies, display optimized local pricing, offer relevant payment methods, while staying compliant in every region - and provide a flawless shopping experience for global customers.