NRF Forecasts 3.8-4.4% Growth in 2019 Retail Sales

Depending on what news source you pay attention to, you can get a different take on reality.

So what’s truly going on? Who’s paying attention to the facts? And who’s using an emotional slant just to get you to read their story?

Well, the National Retail Federation believes the economy’s going to be just fine for 2019.


Macroeconomic data supports it. Consumer financial welfare will remain strong. More people are working. Employees are making more money. Taxes are lower. And consumers have generally high confidence in the economy.

And this, despite some volatility in the stock market in the past six months, a government shutdown, and tariffs on some Chinese goods.

However, the NRF expects there may be some short-term trouble now that additional Chinese tariffs ranging from 10-25% have been in place since March 1st.

And by the way, these growth projections include both online and in-store spending.

What’s Your Strategy Going Forward?

In business, it’s nearly impossible to invent something completely new and get the market to take it. It can be done. But for the most part, business is a response to market trends.

Clearly, the trend is toward spending for now.

So, how do you keep consumers buying from you, and even gain market share?

Well, eTail says consumers want multichannel buying experiences…and that they actually spend 65% of their total shopping budget in-store.

What’s that mean in practicality?

Everyone shops online. Most buy in-store. In other words, all your online shopping properties need to perfectly align with your in-store shopping experience.

Consumers need to easily access product data. They want to place an order online, and get it at your local store.

They need several images of your item online so they know exactly how it will function in their daily life. They need to see images and videos of other consumers enjoying the benefits your products provide.

Secondly, customers need a memorable experience. Today, it’s all about personalization. Consumers want to feel like you created a shopping experience just for them.

That means getting into your data, and also having conversations with customers. What do they and don’t they like about your online and offline shopping experience? What can you do to make the experience so impressive it would be stupid for your customer to go to your competitor?

Some companies fall into the trap of having execs who live in ivory towers trying to create an experience out of thin air. Don’t do that. Get into the trenches and front lines, and experiment directly with your customers and get their feedback.

Retail’s not easy in 2019. But you have a huge consumer trend powering growth. And you have more access to data than ever before. So it’s a perfect time to adjust to the market and make your sales soar.