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Should You Be Getting Ready for a Sales Blitz?

National Retail Federation
Should You Be Getting Ready for a Sales Blitz?

March 2021 saw healthy retail sales growth over March 2020 when pandemic restrictions went into place. The boost was due in part to government stimulus checks and attitudes about COVID as more people get vaccinated, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF).

NRF’s calculation of retail sales – which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants to focus on core retail – showed March was up 7.4% seasonally adjusted from February and up 17.7% unadjusted year-over-year.

The news came after a disappointing February which saw a month-over-month decrease of 3.4% and a year-over-year increase of 7.2%.

While retail sales growth in March is positive news for in-person retail, how will it impact online shopping this spring and into the summer?

Kibo’s Meyar Sheik thinks growing confidence in in-store shopping may be the reason Amazon is reportedly moving Prime Day forward to June this year.

“With the rapid distribution of vaccines in the U.S. and other large international markets, more consumers will be looking to increase their discretionary spend, as well as return to physical retail stores and malls to shop,” Sheik said. “This could inevitably have a negative impact on online sales for Q2 and Q3 and will disproportionately affect Amazon, given its sizable ecommerce market share in the U.S. and abroad.”

NRF didn’t get into total retail versus ecommerce in its announcement, but it did share this statistic from its research into March sales: “Online and other non-store sales were up 6% month-over-month seasonally adjusted and up 30.7% unadjusted year-over-year.”

NRF CEO Matthew Shay said a confident consumer was driving the economic rebound, which should continue through the remainder of 2021.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

3 thoughts on “Should You Be Getting Ready for a Sales Blitz?”

  1. It would be nice to be able to find more things to buy at the store for a change.

    Online stores used to be able to make offers at a lower price and that made the market more attractive.
    But since all of the greedy corporate fees got even more complicated, and the rising cost of shipping happening more regularly, B&M stores will again be more convincing that they are the better option.

    Big stores already can get merch for less than retail, have paid for the shipping ONCE and at a lower cost, NO payment processing fees, and returns are more convenient for both parties involved, eliminating much of the fraud returns.

    Online venues have driven the price upward beyond the competitive margins for sellers so they pay retail value (or even more) and now has made physical stores the cheaper option.
    If that is they way to go, I would rather spend my money on the average working class wage than a crooked executive, and their insufficient techs. Especially the worms like Trinton the sellout.

    1. I find it insulting that you should think that online stores owned by small sellers are inclined to cheat on pricing and shipping. My prices are lower than anything Macy’s or The Dollar Store offer, and I offer free shipping to boot. I earn the average working class wage if at all, and I go months without a sale when the big box retailers lower their prices below cost in order to keep their customers buying. You know nothing about retailing in that case.Try it youself once instead of painting the retail sector with such a broad brush.

      1. VENUES!! Like Big Commerce sites, not stores.

        -“Online stores used to be able to make offers at a lower price and that made the market more attractive.”

        -“Online venues have driven the price upward beyond the competitive margins for sellers so they pay retail value (or even more) and now has made physical stores the cheaper option.”

        I think you’re more insulting yourself than I am.
        Who said anything about cheating shipping prices? – YOU
        I said RISING shipping costs. At a physical store the buyer pays once in person. Not product to you, and then to them.

        Before you run around making accusations and guns ‘a blazing, try to be more civil.
        Your assertions that someone knows something or nothing is more telling of your attitude than your knowledge of someone else. Especially for not having met me.
        For the record I AM working class. Go to my job, bust my hump, and work on my ‘business’ when I get home.
        You know, there are some sellers out there who don’t get the Privilege of staying home to make money, or can even afford to “go months without a sale”. Your attitude may be affecting that.

        I’ve done retail. I had to listen to the ‘main office’ and their ridiculous ideas and projections.
        There are good shops and bad ones.

        You are the one who insisted on ” painting the retail sector with such a broad brush.”
        No one paints with a broader brush than you if your items range from The Dollar Store AND Macy’s. That’s your competition?

        Try expressing your ideals when going to the grocery store next time IN PERSON and think about how much you hate the retail sector. It must be nice not having to wait a week or two for bread or milk.

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