2022 has been quite eventful, yet, for many, it has felt like an incredibly short year. With the holiday shopping season upon us, we must consider some of the events of 2022 and how they influence consumer attitudes.
With Covid-19 restrictions eased (and entirely dropped in most countries), we can expect to see a rise in consumer spending during this holiday season. The majority of shoppers will plan to complete their Christmas purchases before the end of November, mainly because of all the economic uncertainty in the air.
The following guide will explore five holiday trends that both shoppers and online retailers should know going into Christmas.
How Will 2022 Differ From 2021?
When Thanksgiving swung around in 2021, many countries were still under heavy lockdowns. Because of these restrictions, most Black Friday shopping was conducted online. In fact, 43% of all 2021 Black Friday sales were initiated and completed via a mobile device. Amazon was the big winner, capturing a share of 17.7% of all online retail sales.
While Covid-19 seems like a thing of the past for most consumers, there is still a lot to worry about. Both the UK and USA are still facing recession fears. The United States addressed this by hiking interest rates through the Federal Reserve Bank. This move could potentially deter consumers from making large purchases or using credit (borrowing money). Thus, it’s likely that shoppers will be more discerning about what they spend their money on during this holiday shopping season.
Furthermore, due to this economic uncertainty, many retailers began to post Black Friday-like price cuts near the end of October. Naturally, retailer trends also drive shopper trends. The sooner shoppers can secure their desired price-cut goods, the better. While some may gamble and wait to see what prices and deals Black Friday will offer, savvy shoppers will look to avoid crowds and the demanding pace of post-Thanksgiving shopping.
These are only a few examples of how shopping trends may evolve from 2021 to 2022. What other trends should you look out for during this holiday shopping season?
Top 5 Shopping Trends for the 2022 Holiday Season
Staying up-to-date with eCommerce trends is a must if you own an online store; that’s especially true with the holiday shopping season just around the corner. Let’s explore five holiday shopping trends that retailers and consumers should know going into December 2022.
1. Gift Shopping Will Begin Early
This was previously mentioned; however, let’s expand on what it means. As the world is in the throes of global inflation, consumers will start shopping early to avoid price hikes. But what does this mean for retailers and online store owners?
If you fall in this bracket, it is recommended that you begin your marketing campaigns early to attract mid-November shoppers. You should look to run an early Black Friday/Cyber Monday campaign, and if you have planned holiday (Thanksgiving/Christmas) themes or designs for your store or marketing material, you should start employing them early as well.
Additionally, you should also begin promoting your gift collection. This doesn’t apply to only physical goods; if you’re running a software-as-a-service platform or selling desktop applications and other software, you should consider adding holiday bundling options or subscription price cuts. For instance, if your company provides accounting software, you can offer exclusive thematic holiday freebies.
They may include free invoice templates, price cuts on tiered options, or coupons for your (or your business partners’) other services. The main takeaway here is to capitalize on early consumer spending.
2. eCommerce Will Become Even Bigger
Staying competitive this holiday shopping season is important. The growth of eCommerce has not slowed down, and we’ve seen more mass-marketing brands joining the online space.
As a store owner or retailer, you must assess what separates your brand from others and what you can offer customers that big brands have overlooked. You should try to narrow down your niche even more and lean into it. The best thing that small business owners can do is not try to imitate the big brands. Instead, you should focus and try to appeal to a specific set of customers, not selling to everyone.
3. Personalization Trends Continue To Grow
As eCommerce continues to grow, personalization trends continue to grow with it. More online stores have begun to allow customers to personalize items by adding names, pictures, slogans, etc.
If you want to increase conversion rates, you must provide potential customers with unique and personalized experiences. This will allow you to stand out from larger and more established brands.
4. Growing Demand for Sustainable Products
As revealed by a First Insight report, consumers are driving sustainability trends, not executives or companies. Today, almost 90% of Gen X consumers say they would be willing to pay more for sustainable goods. Your brand should lean deep into this trend by providing and marketing all your sustainable options.
Start by assessing the general eco-friendliness and sustainability of your brand. For instance, are your items packaged and shipped sustainably? While planning your marketing strategy, you should also avoid overstating your brand’s eco-friendliness and ultimately greenwashing your audience.
If you want to capitalize on the “going green” trend, only use and sell products that are certified organic or recycled. Remember, though; you must always be ready to support and back up your claims.
5. Shipping Prices Are Important
High shipping prices are one of the biggest conversion killers, so small to medium-sized online businesses should focus on their shipping pricing strategy. Customers are drawn to online stores with flexible shipping options, so your brand should consider offering low prices or free shipping to all its customers.
Refining your holiday shopping marketing campaign is the best way to take advantage of the above trends. You must ensure that you have narrowed down your niche and consider adding personalization options. Additionally, it is important to start your Black Friday sales early.
You can use email newsletter campaigns to advertise some of the price cuts your customers can expect on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Knowing the deals awaiting them will allow customers to budget and plan their buying strategy, a lesson we can learn from bigger brands. It creates a more mindful shopping experience and strengthens the relationship between your brand and your customers.
Ultimately, implementing these strategies will ensure your brand’s success this coming holiday season.