Cheddar Berk's Scorecard: 2012
Some of what I expected came to pass, but my timing may have been a bit off.
Retailers will start 2012 strong.
Correct. The retail industry ended 2011 on a high-note with holiday sales rising 5.6 percent; this was a touch higher than the gain in 2010.
But then comes the post-holiday spending freeze.
This prediction was sort of correct. Consumers put the brakes on spending, but that didn't occur until after the first quarter ended. That pause was long enough and deep enough to raise serious concerns about the economy, but spending picked up again in the fall as kids headed back to school.
Credit cards make a comeback.
Sort of. Americans cranked up their use of credit cards in the third quarter, but there could be seasonal factors at play. We'll have to wait to see how long the trend continues.
Smart retailers will focus on developing better mobile shopping experiences for tablet users.
Most definitely -- mobile shopping is growing at lightning speed. Consider this statistic: Cyber Monday 2012 sales rose a whopping 30 percent over last year, according to IBM's Holiday Benchmark Reports. Mobile sales were a key part of that growth, reaching 13 percent of all sales, an increase of 96 percent over 2011. Think retailers are paying attention? You better believe it. A big part of this trend is dedicated to improving the tablet experience because tablet shoppers are very valuable customers who tend to outspend other groups.