Consumer demands are ever-changing, and knowing what’s coming to stay ahead of those changes preventively helps brands succeed. As retailers prepare for the 2022 holiday shopping season, understanding changing trends and demands is critical.
Looking Back at the 2021 Holiday Season
- 2021 holiday retail sales grew by 8.5%, the biggest annual increase in sales in 17 years.
- eCommerce increased by 11% in sales compared to 2020 and a 64.1% increase compared to 2019.
- Prices grew 6.9% YoY amidst inflation.
- Online prices increased 3.5% YoY.
- Amidst growing price sensitivity, shoppers using price comparison tools increased by 9% in 2021 compared to the previous year.
- 57% of consumers planned to shop earlier last year than the year before to get the best deals and avoid shipping delays.
Extended Holiday Season
Shoppers plan to shop early this holiday to find deals and avoid shipping delays. 30% of consumers began shopping in September, and 70% expected to start before Thanksgiving. The Black Friday craze has declined since 2015 (2020 is an exception) as shoppers gauge Thanksgiving week or even the month. Amazon launched a second Prime Day, and stores like Target and Walmart followed suit with early fall holiday savings.
Deals extend beyond 1-2 days across the entire month to engage shoppers longer. Retailers should note this Christmas shopping trend before the holiday shopping wave hits them.
eCommerce growth has been unprecedented since 2019. Although many consumers are returning to physical stores this holiday season, the BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) and curb-side pick-up methods will remain highly popular for convenience and speed.
42% of U.S. and U.K. shoppers said they leave sites with limited shipping options or without a BOPIS option.
Ramping up online and in-store presence and having a unified view of available inventory across all channels helps brands and retailers fulfill consumer demand.
Low prices again dominate this holiday season as shoppers hunt for the best deals online amidst economic instability. 57% of shoppers look for sales, deals, and coupons more often as inflation increases prices.
Retailers can leverage audience demographics, shopper preferences, and competitor prices to offer competitive prices, promotions, and personalized discounts across all channels.
U.S. holiday gift spending is expected to drop by $30 billion, and 58% of consumers will cut back on non-food spending during the holidays. The biggest drops could be in clothing and footwear, with 25% of people expected to cut back in those areas.
Despite these predictions, many retailers are still optimistic that customers will return this holiday season. Brands need to be understanding during the drawn-out holiday season not to overwhelm customers. That means personalized ad experiences and services to make customers’ lives easier, no matter if they shop in October or late December.
Inventory Forecasting & Planning
With global, cross-industry product shortages, retailers need to anticipate demand and better prepare for the upcoming holiday season. Analyzing shopper behavior, historical demand patterns, and holiday trends can aid in forecasting and planning for inventory to avoid last-minute shortages.