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ONLINE SHOPPING: Trend to bring in billions for retail stores

With the 2017 U.S. holiday season approaching, Americans are expected to spend even more shopping online.

Shopping online is now more popular than shopping at brick and mortar stores, mostly thanks to recent growth in what analysts refer to as “eCommerce.” U.S. holiday retail sales are expected to surpass $658.3 billion this year, according to a recent report from Reuters.

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Online shopping this holiday season is expected to increase by 16 percent this year compared with physical stores which are likely to only see growth of 2.5 percent as holiday shopping ramps up, according to a recent eCommerce survey.

The survey found that around 82 percent of shoppers will buy their holiday gifts online this year.

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“Many retailers will experience a seasonal bump even without any extra effort on their part, but those who keep an eye on purchase trends and consumer preferences can leverage that information to achieve record sales,” said Monica Eaton-Cardone, an information technology executive who advises merchants on holiday shopping trends.

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Eaton-Cardone recommended that stores take advantage of shopping on mobile devices.

Mobile stores on store websites were up over 30 percent in 2016, compared to 2015, according to Eaton-Cardone. Around 66 percent of people shopping for electronics and home products also turned to YouTube for advice on what to buy.

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