Remember camping out at big box stores at 4 AM the morning after Thanksgiving, to take advantage of once-a-year deals to kick off the holiday shopping season?
You can still partake in that tradition if you wish (if you don’t value your sleep), but the holiday selling landscape for retailers has changed substantially. Given the confluence of online shopping, post-pandemic buying habits, uncertain supply chains, rising inflation, and other factors, businesses are looking at a selling season that is longer, more competitive and increasingly digital.
In this article, we’ll look at some predictions for the 2022 holiday shopping season from experts in the field, and how these trends could affect your business. First, let’s get an overview of how this year’s season is shaping up.
Trends for 2022 holiday retail
The holiday period from Thanksgiving to Christmas is still king of the retail landscape: according to the National Retail Federation, holiday retail sales grew by 14.1% from 2020 to 2021, setting a new sales record of US $886.7 billion. However, there are some important changes in the retail picture:
Earlier shopping: The same National Retail Federation figures also show an actual decrease in sales from November to December, as consumers make holiday season purchases earlier. Retailers are responding to this trend by stretching out the holiday selling season – for example, Target and Amazon launched major sales events in October this past year, Kohls will be offering daily deals from October 6 through Christmas Eve, and other sales events will pop-up between then and Black Friday.
More online and mobile shopping: The sharp rise in online shopping fueled by the COVID pandemic has become a new social norm, with online shopping projected to grow in 2022 to a record 24.5% of retail sales, online-focused Cyber Monday now actually eclipsing Black Friday in sales volumes (US $10.7 billion versus US $8.9 billion in 2021). Perhaps more notably, a strong majority of these online sales (74%) now take place via mobile devices.
Supply chain issues: Retailers will respond to the past year’s supply chain issues by building inventories, with a bottom line that excess inventory should ultimately lead to lower prices to clear this merchandise.
More credit: In response to this past year’s strong inflation, retailers will be offering a wider range of flexible installment payment plans to blunt its impact on purchasing behavior.
Cart abandonment: The cart abandonment rate the week before Black Friday in 2021 was 81.66%, which stabilized on Black Friday to yield a total cart abandonment rate of 77.74%. The highest cart abandonment rate through the week leading up to Black Friday took place the day before the event.
While overall rates of growth are predicted to slow compared with the rapid growth rates of the previous two years, these trends are all taking place against the expectation of another strong year for retail sales.
Protecting your bottom line this holiday season
These trends make one thing clear for retailers: your buyers are increasingly less likely to stand in front of a live cashier, and more likely to whip out their smartphone or laptop and click for deals, over a longer selling season. This means that more than ever, your profit margins revolve around being proactive about issues like contact data quality, deliverability, cart abandonment and fraud prevention.
Service Objects products automate the validation and data entry of your customer data, through convenient API interfaces that work directly within major business automation platforms. Just a few of these solutions include:
- Service Objects’ flagship DOTS Address Validation products uses continually updated data from USPS and global postal authorities to help ensure deliverability, and make sure your contacts are accurate, genuine and up-to-date.
- DOTS Global Address Complete facilitates autocompleting address data worldwide from the very first keystroke, reducing cart abandonment with a 80% reduction in data entry time and a 30% reduction in cart abandons.
- DOTS Lead Validation combats fraud by combining contact scoring with contact data validation for address, email and phone data, correcting, scoring and cross-referencing data across over 130 key data points.
All Service Objects products include expert installation assistance, available 24/7/365 technical support, and guaranteed 99.999% uptime. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact our friendly product experts to see how we can help you this holiday retail season.