Holiday sales increased 5% over last year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse report, marking the largest year-over-year increase since 2011. Christian Magoon, CEO of Amplify, and Melissa Gonzalez, CEO and Founder of Lion'esque Group, join The Long and The Short to recap retail in 2017 and make predictions for 2018. According to the Mastercard survey, aggressive promotions early in the holiday season were the main driver for the uptick in retail sales. As for the specific categories that saw growth: sales of electronics and appliances increased by 7.5%, and home furnishings and improvement sales jumped 5%. However, women's apparel was negative over the entire year. Magoon believes mobile commerce is growing by leaps and bounds, which is a direct result of retail sales going up. This is a white-hot growth opportunity for retailers, as smart devices, faster internet, and more trusted mobile payment technology push mobile sales above desktop or foot-traffic. Gonzalez says that retail stores need to start offering perks to their shoppers to get them in the store. Additionally, aggressive discounts were a main driver this year.

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