As the 2017 holiday shopping season kicks off, retailers face the constant dilemma of whether to push buyers to spend in store, online or both.
What people shop for hasn’t really changed, according to Slice Intelligence’s principal analyst, Ken Cassar. It often flips between apparel and electronics.
"There’s so many exciting things happening in the electronics domain between the introduction of the iPhone X as well as the iPhone 8, the always present battle for console games, and the voice-powered Bluetooth speakers," said Cassar.
In years past, retailers would offer big promotions in store, since shoppers will likely spend more in-person.
"However the smarter retailers are willing to get the sale from the consumer where the consumer wants to make that purchase," said Cassar.
One company often comes to mind: Amazon.
"The kids are more savvy, so they get online, they get on Amazon, they kind of pick what they want, assign it to our carts and we either delete it or keep it," West Hartford resident Wanita Thorpe said.
Unlike almost every other retailer, Amazon’s weakness is its lack of brick-and-mortar stores, but it does makeup 42 percent of all online sales nationwide.
Walmart, at just three percent, is Amazon's competitors.
"Of course, the other big question is, 'What happens to those other sectors that have been struggling? How do the department stores do?'," Cassar said.
The Limited, Payless, Eastern Outfitters and Toys R' Us are among the companies who all filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year, meaning they hope to restructure their businesses.
Those companies and likely other retailers struggling to stay afloat will likely work extra hard this holiday season.