Summer may have flown by, but nonetheless, it’s time for retailers to prepare and rollout their peak selling season plans.
To help readers develop their strategies, RIS once again tapped retail experts to get their predictions and forecasts. We also scoured recent retail surveys and research to provide the top data needed to prepare.
Among our findings, we’re mainly hearing COVID concerns have waned this holiday season, replaced by inflation and inventory woes. But despite this holiday season’s challenges, most predictions expect an increase in holiday shopping. Tapping social media channels, nostalgia, and plugging gift cards are a few of the tactics expected to move the needle on shoppers’ purchases.
Consumers are also expected to start shopping early this year, so there’s no time like the present to start reaching out to shoppers. Whether they are shopping in-store or online, consumers are looking for deals and inspiration, whether that be experiences or expert content to get them in the holiday spirit.
So grab your pumpkin spice latte and get ready to dig in. Below, RIS is pleased to present retailers with our third annual guide to the peak selling season.
[Compare to last year’s predictions here: 2021 Holiday Retail Forecasts and Predictions]
Recent RIS research shows half of retailers are capable of making personalized recommendations. As shoppers are hit with an onslaught of promotions, sales, and holiday content, if your organization is capable, cut through the noise and provide overwhelmed, time-starved shoppers messaging with just one item on sale recommend for them to buy. The less is more approach can help clear inventory while boosting loyalty from shoppers who appreciate the personalized help.
Engaging Holiday Shoppers
Respondents to Simon Data’s new study, “Consumer Holiday Shopping in 2022,” overwhelmingly prefer email for almost every type of communication, whether it’s a new product announcement or a response to an inquiry. Thirty-four percent prefer to be contacted via SMS about at-home shipping updates; whereas, 27% prefer to be contacted via SMS with item back-in-stock messages.
“In terms of hottest trends for 2022, I’d have to say – nostalgia! This is driven not just by cultural phenomena like Stranger Things and Gen Z general affinity for throwback times,” Baird, tells RIS. “Pandemic-weary consumers are looking for more of that feeling of ‘returning to normal’ and seeking to re-establish family traditions or create new ones. I think we’ll see more retailers appealing to that sense of nostalgia both in their offerings and their messaging.”
According to Future Publishing, 94% of respondents will be turning to expert content online to seek help navigating rising costs, 56% of respondents want to know where to get a good deal, and 40% want expert product reviews to get the exact product for their needs. Retailers who have invested in and embrace Social Media will benefit from "social commerce” drawing attention to holiday shopping campaigns, says Meitiner. “This is the biggest single digital trend, (Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook etc). 87% of Gen Z shoppers, expect to be inspired by social media for holiday gifts. Retailers who expand their range of shopping channels will be winners.”
Creators are 4x more influential to consumers than celebrity posts and also ranked above social ads, according to LTK.
Almost half of consumers (48%) are likely to purchase a product directly from TikTok, while 65% have purchased from a streaming platform (Hulu, Netflix, etc.), according to Jungle Scout’s findings from itsQ3 2022 Consumer Trends Report.
One in four U.S. and U.K. shoppers (42%) explicitly said they will leave a site if shipping options are limited or they don’t have a buy online pick-up in store option (BOPIS). Also noteworthy is that 35% of respondents said they are turned off by restrictive returns policies, according to the 2022 Holiday Shopping Report: Spending Trends & Impact, conducted by Coveo in partnership with Arlington Research.