Retailers expect strong online sales this holiday seasonMany merchants may be interested in upping their retail buying, as several studies suggest that online shopping will be up this holiday season, resulting in strong online sales. As people increasingly have access to technology, they can shop in their homes or even while on-the-go. The advent of smartphones and tablets has boosted online sales, because consumers can find and research the goods they're seeking while they're in the car, on a train or even in bed.

Studies indicate e-commerce will thrive
A survey from Chase Paymentech revealed that almost six in 10 retailers with online shopping services anticipated increased sales during the Christmas season when compared to last year. Nearly half expect their e-sales to be better than before the recession hit in 2007.

A survey released earlier this month by the National Retail Federation (NRF) showed similar optimistic results. The NRF's online organization,, anticipates holiday web sales will be up 12 percent this year. It was reported that online shopping is growing more quickly than in-store shopping, and retailers will need to take note of these changing trends in order to keep up with the competition.

What online sales mean for stock
Stores are offering all sorts of options for online shoppers these days -  ordering an item online and picking it up in the store, having an item shipped from a physical retail location or shipping a product from a distribution center are all common now, and they've changed the ways merchants handle their inventories.

Many stores are beginning to ship customers their items directly from a nearby retail location rather than sending it from a distribution center halfway across the country. This allows merchants to use the most cost-effective retail procurement strategies and have items shipped to their busiest stores instead of distribution warehouses.

Offering consumers the option to pick their item up in-store can benefit both the customer and the retailer. Buyers who purchase their product online but want it instantly can get the gratification they seek by merely dropping by their local retailer and picking up their product. Retailers also like this option because it allows them to store items at a store rather than distribution center and skip the shipping process entirely.

Because online sales are becoming so popular, they are changing the way the retail market operates, especially during the busy holiday season. With customers already getting started on their winter shopping, retailers are getting prepared for a storm of online sales and are keeping their inventory stocked at high-traffic stores.
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