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According to the National Retail Federation's online arm Shop.org – the holiday season in the US is likely to start off just after Halloween from November 1 and majority of online retailers expect a 25-49% increase in sales. In fact, you might observe that many brick and mortar retailers already have holiday merchandise on the shelves. Clearly no one in retail is actually waiting till November end and Thanksgiving to start of the holiday season. More time is good and consumer confidence is slightly up and that should help.
In this holiday season, shoppers are likely to do more online comparison shopping and are expected to respond to free shipping offers. Online retailers are also in turn likely to offer free shipping for some part of the holiday season. Interestingly the NRF study indicates that compared to social media like Facebook and Twitter consumers are more likely to follow and act upon consumer reviews on retail websites.
An early start to the holiday retail season will create the physical "pull" in the retail supply chain, more traffic in the malls and better consumer confidence to allow businesses to spend a little more freely.