Posted by Laura Hills, VP of Marketing
While consumers are still being careful about their spending, the National Retail Federation (NRF) has predicted that retail sales will show an increase of 4.1% in 2014, outpacing the 3.7% increase delivered in 2013. As a part of this increase, the NRF is predicting online sales to increase 9% to 12%, good news for our online and multichannel merchants.
Behind the optimistic forecast is the NRF’s expectation that 2014 will be less volatile than 2013 which brought economic concerns from a fiscal-cliff scare, a government shutdown and a tax increase. Jack Kleinhenz, the NRF’s Chief Economist has said that he “expects less drag on growth from fiscal policy” which will greatly benefit retailers as shoppers show more confidence amid fewer economic concerns.
Retailers have already posted January gains with an average increase of 3.1% over 2013 sales and ahead of the 2.2% gain predicted by research firm Retail Metrics. NRF President and Chief Executive Matthew Shay commented, “We’re looking forward to an even better year than last year (2013) for retailers. We’re on the right trajectory. We’re seeing continued modest and incremental growth.”
So prepare for a good year by determining where operational improvements can be made to help you to respond to sales opportunities. If you haven’t already done so, now’s the time to think about connecting your back office with your eCommerce store to simplify your day-to-day operations leaving you more time to source new products and reach new markets.