(IDEX Online) – IBM projects year-on-year retail sales growth of 4.83%, compared to 4.2% in 2017, due to ongoing high levels of consumer confidence. <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Jewelry sales are seen rising by 5.2%, although consumer appliances lead all product categories with a 15.2% projected increase, followed by clothing.
"Weather conditions will affect what people buy and when," IBM said in a statement. "For instance, a milder November will lead to decreased demand for items such as snowblowers and cold-weather apparel but increased demand for purchases such as electronics and toys."
Michael Haydock, IBM Fellow, VP & Chief Scientist with IBM Global Business Services, said: "The retail industry is extremely dynamic and a host of powerful factors such as the economy, fast-moving market trends and consumer confidence all come into play. With AI (Artificial Intelligence) and advanced analytics, we can get the experience just right for discerning consumers when they walk into the store.
"The interplay of machine learning augmenting human customer service is the winning combination to help the retail industry better serve the consumer. Uncovering and leveraging patterns that are not obvious make the retail experience both fun and advantageous for the consumer. It makes every experience feel like it was composed just for them."
IBM's 2018 Holiday Retail Forecast uses data originating from the U.S. Census Bureau, which captures total sales observations from over 46,000 retail establishments. IBM consultants use the forecast to help retail clients address complex issues related to supply and demand, plan product mix, and determine new store locations, staffing and advertising spend....