The 2022 holiday season is already under way. Is your business prepared?
BigCommerce is keeping an eye on the latest in online retail heading into Cyber Week 2022 in an ongoing trends report series to keep you informed.
Lasting impacts from last year’s supply chain issues, rising inflation rates and predictions of a possible recession in the near future have many retail businesses wondering what this next season has in store.
Retail trends suggest that in the midst of this economic uncertainty consumers are looking to optimize where and when they spend this season, scoping out promotional incentives.
Take a look at these early consumer shopping trends to prepare for what is driving shoppers this holiday season.
Consumers are Already Crossing Off Their Shopping Lists
Holiday shopping kicked off earlier than ever before in 2021, with major retailers rolling out Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions as early as October.
This year, retailers seem to be following the same pattern in hopes to jumpstart holiday sales and clear shelves for new inventory to adjust for rapidly changing consumer tastes.
Amazon held its first-ever Prime Early Access Sale in early October 2022 as Target also began rolling out its holiday deals early. Meanwhile, Walmart adjusted the gift return window to begin on October 1 rather than November 1.
This shift from major retailers points to the possible end of the traditional shopping season beginning on Thanksgiving and Black Friday in favor of a stretched season beginning as early as August.
According to Criteo, “30% of shoppers were buying holiday gifts in August 2021.”
What does this industry shift mean for your marketing strategy?
Varying Shopper Journeys Will Require an “Always on” Marketing Approach
The residual effects of supply chain issues during the pandemic created buyer urgency that has poured into this holiday season.
To accommodate for the prolonged shopping season businesses are required to remain agile in their holiday marketing strategies, with a tactical approach to omnichannel strategies.
Shoppers are ready to get ahead of potential shipping delays or crowded stores, so implementing an omnichannel strategy is crucial.
According to BigCommerce data, sales were notably up in September YoY across certain major marketplaces and online retail channels.
Ecommerce Sales Aren’t Slowing Down
eMarketer predicts $1.3 trillion in holiday spending this year, a 7% increase from 2021, and $240 billion particularly in ecommerce sales.
They also predict that this Cyber Monday will be the number one spending day of the season with a projected rise of 12%.
Despite inflation, consumers are still spending but doing so strategically.
“Retail sales are set to increase as a result of higher prices, and this dynamic has the potential to further drive ecommerce sales as consumers look for online deals to maximize their spending,” said Nick Handrinos, vice chair, Deloitte LLP.
Consumers are heading into this season seeking experiential goods as opposed to the purchase of necessary retail goods during the pandemic.
The Final Word
We hope these early holiday shopping insights provide you with the information you need to stay agile for this holiday season.
Time will tell how this holiday season will go, but in the meantime, our best advice is to make sure your inventory is ready and your storefront is giving consumers the smooth experience they’ve come to expect.
For more on these trends, stay tuned for our annual Cyber Week Trends Report, which will dive deeper into these insights.