A new report from Criteo has 12 predictions for the coming season.

All the summer gear has been snagged, the avalanche of back-to-school backpacks and sneakers has been purchased and the Labor Day sales have made their mark. What’s next?

Whether or not you’re ready to hear it, holiday shopping is the next big spending milestone, and “omnishopping” is on consumers’ wish list this year. Shoppers will be spending their money whichever way is most convenient at the time. A new report from Criteo – which analyzed e-commerce shopping behavior, search terms and shopping carts last year – has 12 predictions for the coming season.

Though apparel isn’t included on Criteo’s list of top gifts of 2016, the fact that portable record players, Nintendo DS and Legos topped the list is proof that shoppers are yearning for yesteryear.

Earlier Spending
Shoppers are spending earlier and earlier, with last year seeing the largest converted cart sizes in early November. “Since shoppers start browsing early, you need to raise your CPCs (cost-per-click) accordingly to start building a strong cookie pool to ensure you stay top of mind with shoppers when they are ready to buy,” Criteo noted.

Three Stages Of Gifting
Between early November and Cyber Monday, shoppers are in stage one buying larger gifts, and cart sizes are at the maximum in terms of value. From early December to the third week of the month, shoppers are doing stage two “fill in” shopping, or buying products that aren’t so big ticket, like gifts for friends and colleagues. Stage three shopping happens the last week before Christmas, when the procrastinators come out and purchasing peaks. At that time, free shipping will be more important to shoppers than discounts.

At-Home Thanksgiving Day Shopping
Stores are opting to stay closed and give their staff the holiday to be with the family as a sort of value statement – which has meant gains for e-commerce.

“Bounceback Tuesday”
Cyber Monday may still be the biggest e-commerce shopping day of the year, but its growth as a powerful sales driver has slowed as retailers push discount windows earlier in the holiday season. “ith so many people shopping on Cyber Monday, it adds data on undecided (but high-intent shoppers) to the cookie pool for retargeting on Tuesday,” the report noted.

When Is The Real Black Friday?
Big retailers that want to start Black Friday early could drive a change in that date. “Last year, when Walmart decided that Black Friday deals started on November 18 – a full week before Thanksgiving – it caught some merchants and brands off-guard … brands should be prepared for surprise sale announcements and reap the benefits.”

Cyber Week II
The slew of shoppers giving gift cards are leading to what Criteo calls “Cyber Week II,” the period from Christmas Day through New Year’s when recipients go to exchange their cards for goods.

Going Mobile
“Shoppers who are out and about on Saturdays may see items they want in store and decide to skip the line and purchase on their phones. In terms of the time of day, e-commerce activity overall peaks on Sunday evenings, likely due to a similar offline to online dynamic,” the report noted.

Omnichannel Is The New Normal
Looking at consumers’ omnishopping behaviors, 66 percent browse online then buy in a store, 61 percent order online and collect in a store, 38 percent buy on their phone from within a retail store on another retailer’s website (e.g. Amazon), 74 percent buy online after seeing the product in stores and 39 percent buy on their phones from within a retail store from that same retailer’s website.

Click & Collect, Click & Ship
Click & ship can help brands increase profitability by not having to stock every shape and size, and both programs, according to Criteo, will get even bigger. According to Criteo data, 79 percent of online shoppers use in-store pickup if it’s offered and 71 percent make an additional purchase while picking up.

Target the Shopper, Not The Device
According to Criteo, nearly 60 percent of shoppers want to be able to start an order on one platform and finish it on another, and 64 percent want offline store associates to be able to access their online cart and modify it or complete the order in the store.

A U.S. Retail Renaissance?
“Driven in part by the Amazon juggernaut and the rise of e-commerce overall, brands and retailers are rediscovering what made them special to begin with. Experiential retail is the wave of today with stores sharpening focus, featuring more unique merchandise and encouraging shoppers to engage with the store and personnel,” Criteo said.

Photo coutesy Reuters