Forrester: Online holiday spending to increase by double digits over last year

Overall positive economic conditions will propel retail sales online as well as of offline this coming holiday season.
 
That's according to a report by Forrester, which predicts that U.S. online holiday sales will grow 12% to reach $129 billion in 2017, compared to $115 billion last year. Offline holiday sales will inch up 0.3%, to reach $549 billion in 2017.
 
The total number of online holiday buyers in the U.S. will be 3% higher this year than it was last year, the report said. But the real firing power behind this year’s higher online holiday sales is increased spending. Online holiday shoppers will spend an average of $689, which is 8% more than in the 2016 holiday season.  
 
With just four to six weeks to go before the official start of the 2017 holiday season, retailers must optimize service and functionality to deliver the best bang for their buck. Given the tight timeline, Forrester recommends that retailers focus their efforts on four key areas. 
 
"Capping off months of planning, retailers must focus on four priorities before the holiday season kicks off," the report said.  "Review your omnichannel fulfillment processes, re-tune your marketing plans, streamline your mobile checkout process, and craft your performance management strategy. 
 
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