A few weeks ago, Practical Ecommerce released their 4 predictions for this upcoming Holiday season. According to a study conducted by Volusion, small and mid-size businesses are expected to see a 9% growth rate. Across the board, total US ecommerce sales are expected to grow 15.5%. What’s driving these spikes? Practical Ecommerce predicts that mobile commerce, free shipping, in store pick-up for brick-and-click stores and video content will be responsible.

With our various posts on the importance of optimizing your sites for mobile, why it’s smart to offer free shipping, and how to use social media in creative new ways, we’re not surprised by Practical Ecommerce’s predictions. Moreover, we wholeheartedly agree. Here are the highlights of what they had to say (for the full article, click here).

Practical Ecommerce stated that mobile ecommerce will account for 33% of all US total Holiday Sales.

With the increase in mobile ecommerce traffic, there has also been an increase in mobile sales. That trend should continue during the 2014 holiday retail season. In fact, look for about one-third of all U.S. 2014 fourth-quarter sales to come from mobile devices.

Need help optimizing your site for mobile? Read our tips on making shopping easy for mobile browsers here: Keep It Simple For Mobile.

In a previous post on free shipping, we discussed a 2013 comScore survey that found 81% of online shoppers rated free shipping as very important. As Practical Ecommerce puts it,

Shoppers love free shipping offers, so don’t be surprised if 70 percent of U.S. ecommerce shipments during the 2014 Christmas shopping period include free shipping.

Still on the fence about free shipping? Read our argument for it here: Get On Board With Free Shipping Before It’s Too Late.

In the past, we talked about why using a social sharing site like Vine is great for branding. Practical Ecommerce asserts that it’s good for more than just that – it can drive sales.

During the 2014 Christmas shopping season, look for more retailers large and small to begin including product videos on product detail pages and to begin producing more video content generally.

Need tips for using Vine? We have some best practices here: 4 Surprising Ways To Engage Customers.

We’re excited for the ways in which mobile, free shipping and video content may impact the upcoming holiday season. All that remains to be done is to wait and see if Practical Ecommerce’s predictions (and our own) were right all along. If you need further help preparing your stores for the holidays, please feel free to read our tips and downloadable guide, both of which are available here: A Seller’s Holiday Survival Kit. Do you have any predictions? Let us know in the comments.

Roggio, Armando. “4 Predictions for the 2014 Holiday Shopping Season.” Practical Ecommerce. Practical Ecommerce, 20 Aug. 2014. Web. 28 Aug. 2014.

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