The Surprise Direction of the 2022 Holiday Shopping Season

by | Dec 12, 2022 | blog

It has been two years since the world was shut down by the global pandemic, and we’re still feeling the ripple effects. This reality, combined with climbing inflation and a widespread sense of uncertainty, is likely going to alter the holiday season in ways you might not expect. Some of these trends may be reminiscent of the changes we saw in 2020, but don’t be fooled. Things are different now, and this holiday season is going to be unique.

Whether they’re looking at the entire world or just the American market and cultural shifts, retailers will need to consider the modern market trends when preparing both their online storefronts and physical locations. Predicting how your consumers will react to these changing and confusing times will help you stay afloat when things start to get crazy — and help your consumers find the perfect gift for every person on their shopping list.

The Effects of Inflation

With an inflation rate of 8.5% and climbing, this trend is not likely to slow down any time soon. Your consumers are aware of this, too — but they’re not planning on slowing their shopping down, either. The data suggests that this inflation isn’t going to halt the holiday shopping season. People are committed to buying as many gifts as they do every year, despite the rising costs. If you want your business to stay ahead of the game, however, there’s one key tactic to try.

Consumers want discounts. The more money people can save at your store, the more business you’re going to get. This can come in the form of coupons, price cuts, or even buy-one-get-one-free deals. In these stressful times, money is a concern for a lot of people. The businesses that can understand and take advantage of this issue are the businesses that will go into this holiday season with the best chances for profit.

The other key takeaway is to stay competitive and keep an eye on your rival retailers. This can benefit you as well as your consumers and the market as a whole. The more that businesses battle over the best discounts for each product, the less those items will be affected by inflation. This means the prices won’t have to keep rising just for businesses to compete — and the companies with the highest prices will likely see the least amount of engagement, as most consumers will be eager to save money this year.

The Early Shopping Season

Discounts and competition aren’t the only results of worldwide inflation. This year, more consumers are starting their holiday shopping early to stay ahead of the curve and avoid dealing with supply chain issues and even higher prices.

For retailers, this means anyone who isn’t prepared to handle the rush of early shoppers will likely struggle to catch up later. Stock needs to be ordered early and in large enough quantities, and those discounts need to be given out while this rush is happening. Nobody wants to be the company with empty shelves and no sales that’s stuck watching their competitors thrive. You also don’t want to be understaffed, so hire those holiday workers early this year.

The Importance of Social Media Marketing

Keeping an eye on the trends also means knowing what your consumers are looking for. It’s important to make sure you’re taking advantage of all your platforms, especially social media, to accomplish this.

Social media sites are becoming more relevant to the shopping culture with each passing year, and this will be especially important during the holiday season. From social media influencers highlighting a certain item to recommendations on Nextdoor convincing others to try something new, businesses that can take advantage of these platforms will perform better than the ones that can’t. You can increase exposure to your business by running a proper online advertising campaign, especially if you’re selling potential gifts.

For example, if you’re trying to sell a video game, then providing free demo links to gaming YouTube channels will help you reach an interested audience. On the other hand, if you’re running a small toy store, then mastering SEO and connecting to local shoppers is a must. A good online presence will help you get the attention you’re looking for.

It’s All About Online Shopping

While we’re all better equipped to combat COVID-19, many people would still prefer to stay at home when possible. You need to make sure your online shop is up to date, properly coded, and easy to navigate through. Don’t forget to make those discounts and sales available for online shoppers, and keep your customers updated with email alerts. Mobile websites are especially important to get right, as more people than ever before, an increase of 19.5%, are using their phones to make purchases or browse for ideas.

Staying home more often also means people are more interested in getting home-related products and at-home services, as well as in trying out new things. Appliances, art supplies, electronics, books, and food supplies will see a boost in sales, as will services like house cleaning and outdoor decorating. Anything that might provide a more comfortable and convenient experience to anyone staying at home is worth selling, especially if those products or services can be bought online and delivered to the customer’s door.

Consumers in 2022 are looking for businesses that sell products and services designed for at-home comfort, creativity, and convenience. They also want to be able to learn about these businesses and engage with them remotely.

Get the Most Out of the 2022 Holiday Season

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a small mom-and-pop shop or a large, multimillion-dollar corporation. If you’re able to keep up with modern trends by attracting the right demographic, being prepared for the early shopping rush, and providing enough discounts to keep your business competitive, then you’ll be able to come out of this holiday season without being overwhelmed and underprepared.

As we approach the busiest time of the year for small and large businesses alike, the hardest part of this might just be pinning down the best online marketing strategy. If you aren’t sure where to begin, hiring a good content creation team is a great place to start.

Better Content Matters is here to help businesses thrive by creating original and tailored content designed to both engage and advertise, all while using the best SEO strategies available. This holiday season, there’s no need to juggle everything on your own. Contact us today and see what we can do for you.

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Elizabeth Pinckney