This year, holiday spending will increase once again – approximately 4 percent over 2015 – and is predicted to top $1 trillion for the first time ever, according to Deloitte’s recently released 2016 consumer survey. NRF’s annual survey found similar results – American consumers plan to spend an average of $935.58 this shopping season.
While this upward projection is fantastic news for the economy as a whole, two critical factors will affect how retailers need to prepare for the holiday shopping season:
- Daylight saving time has a negative effect on consumer spending
A JP Morgan Chase report finds that losing the extra hour of after-work daylight in the fall and winter stems spending. Moreover, the spending reduction that happens after our clocks “fall back” is larger than the increase that follows when we “spring forward.” (Notable: Whatever the outcome of today's election, it isn't predicted to have much impact.)
- 2016 will mark a milestone for online shopping
For the first time ever, consumers plan to spend just as much money online as they do in stores. The Deloitte report projects an e-commerce sales increase of 17-19 percent for the 2016-2017 holiday shopping season.
How should cash-accepting retailers prepare to combat the potential loss of revenue brought on by decreased daylight hours and increased online spending? Most importantly, by mitigating the costs of accepting cash and preventing as much shrink as possible.
The best way to do that is to better understand the details of how cash is handled and managed throughout your organization. Pick a set of stores to examine and ask questions like:
- Are they holding proper cash on hand?
- Are they depositing or ordering cash too often?
- Are there any patterns of cash loss that haven’t been spotted?
- Are your procedures and policies being followed?
- Do the reports you require give you timely information on the factors above?
With more efficient currency operations, you’ll have more time and energy to spend making sure your locations are welcoming to customers, your profit margins are healthy, and your employees are putting their energy where it matters – toward the strong holiday season predicted across the board for U.S. retailers.