It’s here. The season of good cheer. December is still fresh, but as discounts pile like snow, shoppers dive into the marketplace on smartphones, buying, selling, and shipping digitally in massive volume. The financial avalanche that is holiday season 2016 is building momentum and this year’s sales are set to bury previous records. UPS CEO David Abney believes 2016’s shipping volume could crush 2015 numbers by as much as 14%.
I’ve written before about how digital tech is poised to revolutionize the financial industry, and how investors can take advantage of financial apps to maximize returns. The transition in holiday shopping trends from in-store to online is a prime example of how online tech is already influencing the market.
Digital commerce giants like Amazon have played a leading role in the rise of the cyber marketplace. According to a piece by CNN, 2016’s Cyber Monday sales totaled $1.1 billion, a 34% increase over just one year. The National Retail Federation states an additional 4 million people shopped online this year, with purchases made from mobile phones claiming 37% of total sales.
In response to this monumental shift in purchasing practice, UPS and FedEx stocks have blasted into new and lucrative territory, with UPS boasting a 20% boost in value, and FedEx a 30% increase.
Additionally, CNN Money states that Walmart, Target and Best Buy have funneled substantial funds into their digital operations in preparation for the holidays. This was an investment well worth making as all announced healthy growth in online and mobile transactions.
The convenience afforded in dodging the shelf diving and endless lines by shopping digitally is swaying deal hunters away from malls and toward their screens. Shopping in-store may become a practice of the past in the not-distant future. Companies who cannot adapt their strategy to incorporate online factors could conceivably see a dramatic dip in stock value, leaving investors facing losses that would dampen even the brightest holiday spirits.
Considering 2016’s huge lean towards online shopping, there may be no better time than the present for investors to follow examples of massively successful conglomerates like Walmart and Target, and reap the benefits of stuffing their portfolios full of stock in companies directly responsible for sustaining the digital shopping craze. Online marketplaces such as Amazon are on the unquestionably on the rise and with stocks taking off, UPS and FedEx, the foot soldiers of online merchants, may also be prime pieces for a savvy investor’s portfolio.